Thought for the Day – 17 November – The Third World Day for the Poor and The Memorial of St Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231)
“The poor acquire genuine hope, not from seeing us gratified by giving them a few moments of our time but from recognising in our sacrifice, an act of gratuitous love, that seeks no reward.
I encourage you to seek, in every poor person whom you encounter, his or her true needs, not to stop at their most obvious material needs but to discover their inner goodness, paying heed to their background and their way of expressing themselves and in this way to initiate a true fraternal dialogue.
For once, let us set statistics aside – the poor are not statistics to cite when boasting of our works and projects. The poor are persons to be encountered, they are lonely, young and old, to be invited to our homes to share a meal; men women and children who look for a friendly word. The poor save us because they enable us to encounter the face of Jesus Christ.” … Pope Francis Third World Day of Poor Message (Excerpt)
“Elizabeth was a lifelong friend of the poor and gave herself entirely to relieving the hungry. She ordered that one of her castles should be converted into a hospital in which she gathered many of the weak and feeble. She generously gave alms to all who were in need, not only in that place but in all the territories of her husband’s empire. She spent all her own revenue from her husband’s four principalities and finally she sold her luxurious possessions and rich clothes for the sake of the poor.”
From a letter by Fr Conrad of Marburg, spiritual director of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
St Elizabeth of Hungary,
please Pray for the poor and homeless,
Pray for us all!
Quote/s of the Day – 17 November – The Third World Day of Prayer for the Poor and the Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Luke 21:5–19
So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also lone one another …”
Blest are the Pure in Heart” – From the Breviary (A perfect hymn/prayer for the Feast of St Elizabeth of Hungary)
Blest are the pure in heart,
for they shall see our God,
the secret of the Lord is theirs,
their soul is Christ’s abode.
The Lord, who left the heavens,
our life and peace to bring,
to dwell in lowliness with men,
their pattern and their King.
Still to the lowly soul,
He does Himself impart
and for His dwelling and His throne,
chooses the pure in heart.
Lord, we Thy presence seek,
May ours this blessing be:
give us a pure and lowly heart,
a temple fit for Thee
Hope means to keep living amid desperation and to keep humming in the darkness. Hoping is knowing that there is love, it is trust in tomorrow it is falling asleep and waking again when the sun rises. In the midst of a gale at sea, it is to discover land. In the eyes of another it is to see that you are understood…. As long as there is still hope There will also be prayer…. And you will be held in God’s hands.
One Minute Reflection – 17 November – The Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Luke 21:5–19, The Third World Day of Prayer for the Poor and the Memorial of St Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231)
“By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” … Luke 21:19
REFLECTION – “That person has not yet attained perfect love and profound knowledge of Divine Providence who, in time of trial, when affliction befalls, does not have magnanimity but cuts himself off from love for the spiritual brethren.
The aim of Divine Providence is to re-unite by means of right faith and spiritual love, those who were cut asunder and scattered by evil. It was in order to “gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad” (Jn 11:52) that the Saviour suffered. So, someone who refuses to bear the burden of arduous circumstances and endure sorrows or suffer pain, walks outside the love of God and the aim of Providence. If “charity is patient and kind” (1Cor 13:4), does not the person who is fainthearted in sorrows, who bears malice against those giving offence, or who severs the love due to them, fall short of the aim of Divine Providence?… They are long-suffering who await the end of the trial and receive praise for what they have endured. “Whoever is slow to wrath abounds in wisdom” (Prv 14:29), for such a one, relates all that happens, to the ultimate end and, in its expectation, bears all afflictions. And the end, says the Apostle, is everlasting life (cf. Rm 6:22). “And this is eternal life, that they might know You, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent” (Jn 17:3).” … St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662) Monk, Theologian, Father – Fourth Century on Love, nos 16-18, 23-24
PRAYER – Holy God and Father, grant us a strong Faith! Poor Your graces into our hearts that we may believe with all our hearts, minds and souls and that in believing, we may constantly raise our entire being to You in prayer and supplication, in prayer and adoration, in prayer and love. May the intercession of St Elizabeth of Hungary, a woman of deep prayer from her youth, strengthen our perseverance and trust. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.
St Hugh of Noara
St Josefa Gironés Arteta
St Juan de Castillo-Rodriguez
St Lazarus Zographos
St Lorenza Díaz Bolaños
St Namasius of Vienne
Bl Salomea of Galicia
Bl Sébastien-Loup Hunot
St Thomas Hioji Nishi Rokuzaemon
St Victoria of Cordoba
Bl Yosafat Kotsylovsky
St Zacchaeus of Palestine
Jesuit Martyrs of Paraguay – 3 saints
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Eusebio Roldán Vielva
• Blessed Josefa Gironés Arteta
• Blessed Lorenza Díaz Bolaños
Quote/s of the Day – 17 November – The Memorial of St Elizabeth of Hungary – Apostle of Charity (1207-1231) Speaking of: Charity/Mercy
As long as anyone has the means of doing good to his neighbours and does not do so, he shall be reckoned a stranger to the love of the Lord.
St Irenaeus (130-202) Father of the Church
“Mercy imitates God and disappoints Satan.”
“No one has ever been accused for not providing ornaments but for those who neglect their neighbour, a hell awaits with an inextinguishable fire and torment in the company of the demons. Do not, therefore, adorn the church and ignore your afflicted brother, for he is the most precious temple of all.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Church
“Compassion, my dear Brother, is preferable to cleanliness. Reflect that with a little soap, I can easily clean my bed covers but even with a torrent of tears, I would never wash from my soul, the stain, that my harshness toward the unfortunate would create.”
St Martin de Porres (1579-1639)
“All our religion is but a false religion and all our virtues are mere illusions and we ourselves are only hypocrites in the sight of God, if we have not that universal charity for everyone – for the good and for the bad, for the poor and for the rich and for all those who do us harm, as much as those who do us good.”
One Minute Reflection – 17 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 18:1–8 – Saturday of the Thirty Second week in Ordinary Time, Year B and The Memorial of St Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231)
“When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?”...Luke 18:8
REFLECTION – “What more powerful incentive to prayer could be proposed to us than the parable of the unjust judge? An unprincipled man, without fear of God or regard for other people, that judge nevertheless ended by granting the widow’s petition. No kindly sentiment moved him to do so; he was rather worn down by her pestering. Now if a man can grant a request even when it is odious to him to be asked, how can we be refused by the one who urges us to ask? Having persuaded us, therefore, by a comparison of opposites that “we ought always to pray and never lose heart,” the Lord goes on to put the question: “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, do you think he will find faith on earth?”
Where there is no faith, there is no prayer. Who would pray for something he did not believe in? So when the blessed Apostle exhorts us to pray he begins by declaring: “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But to show that faith is the source of prayer and the stream will not flow if its springs are dried up, he continues: “But how can people call on him in whom they do not believe?” (Rom 10:13-14). We must believe, then, in order to pray and we must ask God, that the faith enabling us to pray, may not fail. Faith gives rise to prayer and this prayer obtains, an increase of faith.”…St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor – Sermon 115, 1 ; PL 38, 655
PRAYER – Holy Father, grant us a strong Faith! Poor Your graces into our hearts that we may believe with all our hearts, minds and souls and that in believing, we may constantly raise our entire being to You in prayer and supplication, in prayer and adoration, in prayer and love. May the intercession of St Elizabeth of Hungary, a woman of deep prayer from her youth, strengthen our perseverance. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.
Thought for the Day – 17 November – The Memorial of St Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231)
“Elizabeth was a lifelong friend of the poor and gave herself entirely to relieving the hungry. She ordered that one of her castles should be converted into a hospital in which she gathered many of the weak and feeble. She generously gave alms to all who were in need, not only in that place but in all the territories of her husband’s empire. She spent all her own revenue from her husband’s four principalities and finally she sold her luxurious possessions and rich clothes for the sake of the poor.
Twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, Elizabeth went to visit the sick. She personally cared for those who were particularly repulsive; to some she gave good, to others clothing; some she carried on her own shoulders and performed many other kindly services. Her husband, of happy memory, gladly approved of these charitable works. Finally, when her husband died, she sought the highest perfection; filled with tears, she implored me to let her beg for alms from door to door.
On Good Friday of that year, when the altars had been stripped, she laid her hands on the altar in a chapel in her own town, where she had established the Friars Minor and before witnesses she voluntarily renounced all worldly display and everything that our Saviour in the gospel advises us to abandon. Even then she saw that she could still be distracted by the cares and worldly glory which had surrounded her while her husband was alive. Against my will she followed me to Marburg. Here in the town she built a hospice where she gathered together the weak and the feeble. There she attended the most wretched and contemptible at her own table.
Apart from those active good works, I declare before God that I have seldom seen a more contemplative woman.
Before her death I heard her confession. When I asked what should be done about her goods and possessions, she replied that anything which seemed to be hers belonged to the poor. She asked me to distribute everything except one worn-out dress in which she wished to be buried. When all this had been decided, she received the body of our Lord. Afterward, until vespers, she spoke often of the holiest things she had heard in sermons. Then, she devoutly commended to God all who were sitting near her and as if falling into a gentle sleep, she died.” – from a letter by Fr Conrad of Marburg, spiritual director of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
Elizabeth understood well the lesson Jesus taught when he washed his disciples’ feet at the Last Supper: the Christian must be one who serves the humblest needs of others, even if one serves from an exalted position. In her short life, Elizabeth manifested such great love for the poor and suffering that she has become the patroness of Catholic charities and of the Secular Franciscan Order. The daughter of the King of Hungary, Elizabeth chose a life of penance and asceticism when a life of leisure and luxury could easily have been hers. This choice endeared her in the hearts of the common people throughout Europe. Of royal blood, Elizabeth could have lorded it over her subjects. Yet she served them with such a loving heart that her brief life won for her a special place in the hearts of many. Elizabeth is also an example to us in her following the guidance of a spiritual director. Growth in the spiritual life is a difficult process. We can play games very easily if we don’t have someone to challenge us.
One Minute Reflection – 17 November – The Memorial of St Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231)
Adapt yourselves no longer to the pattern of this present world but let your minds be remade and your whole nature thus transformed…Romans 12:2
REFLECTION – “Extend your mercy towards others, so that there can be no one in need whom you meet without helping. For what hope is there for us if God should withdraw His Mercy from us?”…–St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)
PRAYER – Lord God, as You have taught Your Church that all the commandments are summed up in the love of You and of our neighbour, grant that as we follow St Elizabeth of Hungary in doing works of charity, we may be numbered among the blessed in Your Kingdom. May the prayers of St Elizabeth help us to give constant love and service to the afflicted and the needy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, in union with You and the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity. Amen
Saint of the Day – 17 November – St Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231) T.O.S.F. – Widow member of the Third Order of the Franciscans. Also known as St Elizabeth of Thuringia. Born in 1207 at Presburg, Hungary – 1231 at Marburg, Germany of natural causes. Her relics, including her skull wearing a gold crown she had worn in life, are preserved at the convent of Saint Elizabeth in Vienna, Austria. Patronages – hospitals, nurses, bakers, brides, countesses, dying children, exiles, homeless people, lace-makers, widows. all Catholic charities and the Third Order of Saint Francis. She was Canonised on 27 May 1235 by Pope Gregory IX at Perugia, Italy.
Elizabeth was born in 1207. Her father was Alexander II, the king of Hungary. Her marriage was arranged when she was just a child and at age four, she was sent to Thuringia for education and eventual marriage. When she was 14, she married Louis of Thuringia. They loved each other deeply.
According to legend, Elizabeth went out with loaves of bread to feed those who were poor. Her husband saw her and took hold of her cape to see what she was carrying. What he saw was roses rather than bread! Because of this, she is also known as the patroness of bakers. Louis supported her in all she did to relieve the sufferings of those who were poor or sick. But Louis’s mother, Sophia, his brother and other members of court resented Elizabeth’s generosity. She was taunted and mocked by the royal family but deeply loved by the common people. Louis loved her and defended her. They had three children.
In 1227, after six years of marriage, Louis went to fight in the Crusades. He died on the way. Elizabeth was grief stricken. Her in-laws accused her of mismanaging the finances of the kingdom, forcing her and her children out of the palace. For a while, they found refuge only in barns. Finally, they were taken in by her uncle, the bishop of Bamberg. When her husband’s friends returned from the Crusades, they helped restore her to her rightful place in the palace. Elizabeth increased her service to others. She was 24 when she died.
She was canonised only four years later. Elizabeth is symbolized by a triple crown—for roles as a member of royalty, as a mother, and as a saint, crowned in heaven.