The Cistercian monk Caesarius of Heisterbach wrote of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary as follows: The honourable and devout Elisabeth was from a family of high standing and shone brightly in the fog of this world like the morning star. Saint Elisabeth is one of the most beloved Hungarian saints.
Front: Saint Elizabeth of Hungary – the patroness of wives, young mothers, the Third Order of St. Francis and charitable work – was one of the most well-known and beloved saints in the Middle Ages. She was the daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary (1205–1235) and Gertrude of Merania, the sister of King Béla IV of Hungary and wife of Louis, Landgrave of Thuringia. Elizabeth was strongly influenced by the spiritual ideals of Saint Francis of Assisi, and her confessor was also a Franciscan. After the birth of her first child, she established a home for orphans and after the birth of her second child she founded a hospital. During a famine in 1225 she had food distributed in Wartburg and helped feed and care for the poor. After the death of her husband, she lived an austere life until her death in 1231 at the age of 24. Although the Emperor asked for her hand in marriage, she chose to serve the poor. Pope Gregory IX canonized her in 1235, very soon after her death. The legend of Elizabeth as a woman dedicated to helping the poor and active in the broader community was an example for her contemporaries and posterity.
Back: The central motif on the back is a fi gure of St. Elizabeth of Hungary standing under an arched gate, an image inspired by a painted, wooden statue at the parish church of St. Elizabeth in Budapest. The scene alludes to two miracles of St. Elizabeth: the miracle of the roses and the miracle of the crucifi ed Christ. It also refl ects how her veneration is spread across all of Europe. The legend “SZT. ERZSÉBET” is found to the left of the image, with the dates of her birth and death “1207–1231” to the right in three lines. The master mark of Zoltán Endrődy is located to the lower right of the image of St. Elizabeth.