Good, kind, beautiful Elizabeth is married to Ludwig of Thuringia. During a terrible famine, she shares food with the people from her and her husband’s store and granary. Husband forbids her to continue, she does so anyway and is caught…
The bones of the story:
- Elizabeth (7 July 1207) married to Ludwig of Thuringia.
- One year, terrible famine and people are starving.
- Elizabeth opens food stores to share with people. Ludwig forbids her from doing so again – “God helps those who help themselves.”
- Elizabeth ignores him. Following day, when he is out hunting, she fills a basket with food to take to the poor, hiding it beneath her mantle. As she is leaving the house, Ludwig returns unexpectedly with his hunting party. He asks if she is taking food to the poor, and his hunting party accuse him of being unable to prevent his wife from stealing. Elizabeth says nothing. Ludwig pulls open her mantle, sees the basket, lifts its lid… and sees fresh roses, in a season during which no roses should live.
- Both shocked.
- Ludwig apologises, kisses wife, and takes a single rose to tuck into his hunting jacket.
- Elizabeth is unsure what to do, and decides that if the makes of miracles think that roses are what the poor need, then who is she to argue. Off she goes, and when she arrives in the market place and removes the lid from her basket, lo and behold, it’s full of bread.
- Meanwhile, Ludwig is teased mercilessly by friends in the hunting party who want to know if wearing a loaf of fresh bread in one’s hunting jacket is the height of fashion. Ludwig realises that he has been party to a miracle, and returns to his wife with her charity.
- This is a miracle associated with Elizabeth of Hungary.