November 17, 2009

St. Elizabeth's Children

This morning in my homily for the feast of Elizabeth of Hungary, I preached a little on the shortness of her life--betrothed at age four, married at fourteen, widowed at twenty, dead at twenty-four--and on her infamous and murdered spiritual director, the inquisitor Conrad of Marburg.

Later on in the morning, one of the ladies in the parish office asked me if I knew what had become of Elizabeth's three children, none of whom could have been much older than nine years when she died.

All of this via surfing Wikipedia:

St. Elizabeth's first child, who should have been Hermann II, Landgrave of Thuringia, died as a teenager and never ruled, perhaps having been poisoned by his uncle.

Her second child, Sophie, became the second wife of Henry II, Duke of Brabant. They had two children, one of whom was Henry I, who, not without a lot of intrigue, became the founder of the House of Hesse, which persisted until the death without issue of Louis, Prince of Hesse and by Rhine in 1968.

The third child, Gertrude, was delivered to the Premonstratensian convent in Aldenberg at the tender age of two. How's that for vocation discernment! Twenty years later she was elected abbess and reigned for almost fifty more. She seems to be listed in some places around the internet as blessed.

UPDATE: The blessedness of Gertrude is confirmed; she's listed in the Roman Martyrology on August 13.

2 comments:

Qualis Rex said...

Here's the thing: history is always written by the victors. Then lately, we've seen it re-written by the "losers". So, it really is difficult for me to get on board with loathing Konrad. Looking at both sides of it, it's almost like the classical church v royalty game that was going on for centuries. Who knows?

Louis M said...

Cool history. Thanks, Father!