PATRON OF THE SECULAR FRANCISCAN ORDER
“It Is Christ Whom You Have Washed, Fed and Looked After”
The spiritual fire of Saint Francis burst out where ever the friars went, this was especially so in life of the beautiful Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. When the friars Minor came to Thuringia in 1222 her and her husband, Ludwig were very much impressed with their way of life. Elizabeth chose Friar Rudiger as her spiritual director. When he narrated to her the circumstances of the conversion of the young and rich merchant Francis of Assisi, Elizabeth was even more enthusiastic about following her path of Christian life. From that moment, she decided to follow even more closely the poor and crucified Christ, present in the poor by joining the third Order of Saint Francis, today called the Secular Franciscans. Even when her first son was born, followed by two others, our saint never neglected her works of charity towards those who suffered. Moreover, she helped the Friars Minor to build a monastery in Halberstadt, of which Friar Rudiger became the superior. Elizabeth’s spiritual direction then passed to Konrad of Marburg. Her practical love of God shone out in her joyous love of her husband and family and her constant steadfast love for the poor, sick and helpless. Her ability to clearly organize her priorities made her one of the most famous women of Europe and an ideal for all those in positions of responsibility to follow.