Countess, Tramp or Toothache Sufferer? — St. Elizabeth of Hungary Pray for Us

Today is one of my least favorite kinds of days. It’s a wake up early and do housework day, with just a touch of blogging thrown in here for good measure. We’re welcoming a special guest this weekend, so my gravely-neglected home needs a lot of TLC.

I’ll admit it. I’m a domestic failure.

My poor husband will eat a combo of microwave popcorn and frozen veggies for dinner and my son is an expert at ironing, mainly out of self defense.

So a day like today filled with mopping, and dusting, and even baking is an “offer it up” kind of day for me.

Happily, today’s memorial of St. Elizabeth of Hungary falls just at the right time for me. This daughter of a King went from riches to rags and never shirked from helping others, as we read in this short biography:

Princess, the daughter of King Andrew of Hungary. Great-aunt of Saint Elizabeth of Portugal. She married Prince Louis of Thuringa at age 13. Built a hospital at the foot of the mountain on which her castle stood; tended to the sick herself. Her family and courtiers opposed this, but she insisted she could only follow Christ’s teachings, not theirs. Once when she was taking food to the poor and sick, Prince Louis stopped her and looked under her mantle to see what she was carrying; the food had been miraculously changed to roses. Upon the death of Louis, Elizabeth sold all that she had, and worked to support her four children. Her gifts of bread to the poor, and of a large gift of grain to a famine stricken Germany, led to her patronage of bakers and related fields.

I love reading about the various patronages of our saints, so it was a real thrill to learn that St. Elizabeth is a “go-to intercessor” for “people ridiculed for their piety”. I think I will invoke her lovingly next time I have a run-in with a Facebook friend or combox demon. Not that I’m calling myself “pious” by any means — as in my domesticity, I have much to improve upon in that regard as well. But in learning about St. Elizabeth’s life, I’m certain that she had more than her fair share of “offer it up” moments as well. So she’s good company for a dreary day filled with dust-bunnies…

If you find yourself with a toothache today, be sure to offer a prayer to St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

As you pass a panhandler, pray for him and for all those who suffer from lack of shelter through her intercession.

And if you’re a countess, you can give her a shout out as well!

St. Elizabeth of Hungary, pray for us!

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About Lisa M. Hendey

Lisa Hendey is the founder and webmaster of and the author of The Grace of YesA Book of Saints for Catholic Moms and The Handbook for Catholic Moms. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and is a frequent television and radio guest and host. Visit her at and connect with her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

  • Ginny at Random Acts of Momness

    It’s one of those days around here, too. I love having the reminder that for every life situation, there is a saint! Thanks for this post.

    • lisahendey

      Oh Ginny, I hope you have a lovely day in the trenches! Thanks for stopping by!

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  • Barb Szyszkiewicz

    And she was a Secular Franciscan! In fact, she is patroness of the Order. (Yet another reason she is one of my go-to saints!) Not to mention the whole bread thing…

  • bt

    I’m guessing that the tradition of praying to her if one has a toothache is base on her giving food to the poor, but I suspect there is also another story here. Was someone with a terrible toothache during her time perhaps cured of one?

  • Lisa Schmidt

    From one domestically-challenged to another: Rather than saying domestic failure, how about saying hospitality is not your strongest charism? That makes me feel better! :)

    • lisahendey

      Duly noted Mrs. Schmidt!

  • rob

    Hello and thank you for adding our SaintsforSinners Saint Elizabeth of Hungary story to this blogpost! She is a definite favorite and her medal is fun to paint and her strength was great. I see you also wrote about the former Blessed and now Saint Kateri. We were in Rome for her canonization on October21, 2012. It was magnificent. If you would like a momento from Saint Kateri’s special day, just send me a note through SaintsforSinners and I will mail something to you. Thanks again. I’m going to buy “A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms” as a Christmas gift for a great Mom. I’m so happy to have been introduced toy our work! rob @ SaintaforSinners

    • lisahendey

      Awesome to hear from you Rob – I love your site! I’ll drop you an email, but wanted to thank you for commenting and especially for your very kind words about my book!