Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014 - Litany Lane Blog: Covet, Psalms 1:1-6, Revelations 1:1-5, Luke 18:35-43, Pope Francis's Daily Catechesis, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Marburg Germany, Elisabethkirche, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life in Christ Section Two: The Ten Commandment Chapter Two: Tenth Commandment Article 10, Recharge - Heaven Speaks to Young Adults

Monday,  November  17, 2014 - Litany Lane Blog:

Covet, Psalms 1:1-6, Revelations 1:1-5, Luke 18:35-43, Pope Francis's Daily Catechesis, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Marburg Germany, Elisabethkirche, Catholic Catechism Part Three:  Life in Christ Section Two: The Ten Commandment Chapter Two: Tenth Commandment Article 10, Recharge - Heaven Speaks to Young Adults

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge, reason and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, wonder and awe (fear of the Lord) , counsel, knowledge, fortitude, and piety (reverence) and shun the seven Deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony...Its your choice whether to embrace the Gifts of the Holy Spirit rising towards eternal light or succumb to the Seven deadly sins and lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to the Darkness, Purgatory or Heaven is our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...~ Zarya Parx 2013

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012

"Where There is a Will, With God, There is a Way" ~ Zarya Parx Studio 2014


Prayers for Today:   Monday in Ordinary Time

Rosary - Joyful Mysteries


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis Daily Catechesis:

November 17, 2014

(2014-11-17 Vatican Radio) 
The temptation that Christians face to be with Jesus without being with the poor and marginalized: this was the focus of Pope Francis’ remarks to the faithful following the readings of the day at Mass on Monday morning in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican.

The Holy Father said that the temptation to ignore Christ when he appears to us in the poor and afflicted is one that faces the Church in every age. Pope Francis offered his reflections following the Gospel reading of the day, which recounted the episode of the Lord’s miraculous healing of the blind man on the road to Jericho – a type of figure prominent in the Gospel according to St Luke (18:35-43), from which the reading was taken. The blind man was a no-account in the eyes of the world, a man who, “desired only salvation,” who so greatly, “desired to be cured,” of his affliction that he shouted and shouted, until the wall of indifference collapsed and he was able to knock, “on the door of the Lord’s heart.” The circle of disciples wanted only to quiet him, to keep him from disturbing the Lord:

“This [person on the margins] could not reach the Lord, because this clique – with a the best of intentions, mind you – closed the door.  This happens frequently, among us believers: when we have found the Lord, without our noticing it, we create this sort of ecclesiastical micro-climate . Not only the priests, the bishops, but the faithful, as well: ‘We’re the ones who are with the Lord,’ [we say to ourselves], though for all our looking on Him, we fail to see His needs. We do not look to the Lord who is hungry, who is thirsty, who is in prison, who is in hospital – to the Lord, who is in the marginalized – and being [so closed off, so sealed up], does great harm.”

Pope Francis went on to describe a second type of Christian – of whom there are a few – the kind of follower of Christ, who feels especially chosen. Such as these say and think things like, “Now we are the elect, we are with the Lord,”  said Pope Francis, adding that they therefore want to keep “this little world” to and for themselves – to keep it away from anyone – even little children – who might “disturb the Lord,” and saying that such as these, “have abandoned their first love.”:

“When in the Church, the faithful, ministers, become a group like this ... not ‘ecclesial’, but ‘ecclesiastical’, [enjoying] the privilege of closeness to the Lord, they are tempted to forget their first love – a love so beautiful – one we all had when the Lord has called us, saved us, told us: ‘But I love you so much.’ This is a temptation all disciples have: to forget our first love, that is, to forget the [rough neighborhoods], where [we all came from], even though [we are now] ashamed of it.”
Then the Holy Father described the third group on the scene: the “simple folk” – the ones who praise God for the healing of the blind man. “How many times,” he asked, “do we find simple people, how many old ladies who can barely walk,” but who make the trip, “to pray at a one of Our Lady’s shrines.” He went on to say that such as these, “do not ask for privileges, but only for grace.” Such as these, he continued, are “the faithful people” who know how to “waste time with the Lord,” and, “to follow the Lord, without asking special privileges,” and who, above all else, remember the “Church on the margins,” comprised of children, of the sick, of the imprisoned:

“Let us ask the Lord for the grace that all of us who have received the grace of being called, never, never, never move away from this Church. Let us never enter into this micro-climate of the privileged ecclesiastical disciples, who turn away from the Church of God, which is suffering, asking for salvation, which calls for faith, which begs to hear God's Word. Let us ask the grace to be faithful to God, without asking the Lord for privileges, which separate us from God's people.”

Reference: Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 11/17/2014


Liturgical Celebrations to be presided over by Pope:  2015

Vatican City, spring 2014 (VIS)

The following is the English text of the intentions – both universal and for evangelization – that, as is customary, the Pope entrusted to the Apostleship of Prayer for 2015. 

Universal: That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will work together for peace.
Evangelization: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.

Universal: That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.

Universal: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.

Universal: That people may learn to respect creation and care for it as a gift of God.
Evangelization: That persecuted Christians may feel the consoling presence of the Risen Lord and the solidarity of all the Church.

Universal: That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary’s intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.

Universal: That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.

Universal: That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.

Universal: That volunteers may give themselves generously to the service of the needy.
Evangelization: That setting aside our very selves we may learn to be neighbours to those who find themselves on the margins of human life and society.

Universal: That opportunities for education and employment may increase for all young people.
Evangelization: That catechists may give witness by living in a way consistent with the faith they proclaim.

Universal: That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.

Universal: That we may be open to personal encounter and dialogue with all, even those whose convictions differ from our own.
Evangelization: That pastors of the Church, with profound love for their flocks, may accompany them and enliven their hope.

Universal: That all may experience the mercy of God, who never tires of forgiving.
Evangelization: That families, especially those who suffer, may find in the birth of Jesus a sign of certain hope.

  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 11/17/2014.


November 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children; Anew, in a motherly way, I am calling you to love; to continually pray for the gift of love; to love the Heavenly Father above everything. When you love Him you will love yourself and your neighbor. This cannot be separated. The Heavenly Father is in each person. He loves each person and calls each person by his name. Therefore, my children, through prayer hearken to the will of the Heavenly Father. Converse with Him. Have a personal relationship with the Father which will deepen even more your relationship as a community of my children – of my apostles. As a mother I desire that, through the love for the Heavenly Father, you may be raised above earthly vanities and may help others to gradually come to know and come closer to the Heavenly Father. My children, pray, pray, pray for the gift of love because 'love' is my Son. Pray for your shepherds that they may always have love for you as my Son had and showed by giving His life for your salvation. Thank you."

October 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:  “Dear children! Today I call you to open yourselves to prayer. Prayer works miracles in you and through you. Therefore, little children, in the simplicity of heart seek of the Most High to give you the strength to be God’s children and for Satan not to shake you like the wind shakes the branches. Little children, decide for God anew and seek only His will – and then you will find joy and peace in Him. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

October 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children, I love you with a motherly love and with a motherly patience I wait for your love and unity. I pray that you may be a community of God’s children, of my children. I pray that as a community you may joyfully come back to life in the faith and in the love of my Son. My children, I am gathering you as my apostles and am teaching you how to bring others to come to know the love of my Son; how to bring to them the Good News, which is my Son. Give me your open, purified hearts and I will fill them with the love for my Son. His love will give meaning to your life and I will walk with you. I will be with you until the meeting with the Heavenly Father. My children, it is those who walk towards the Heavenly Father with love and faith who will be saved. Do not be afraid, I am with you. Put your trust in your shepherds as my Son trusted when he chose them, and pray that they may have the strength and the love to lead you. Thank you." - See more at:

Today's Word:  covet  cov·et  [kuhv-it]  

Origin:  1175-1225; Middle English coveiten < Anglo-French coveiter, Old French coveit (i) er < Vulgar Latin *cupidiētāre, verbal derivative of *cupidiētās, for Latin cupititās cupidity

verb (used with object)
1. to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others: to covet another's property.
2. to wish for, especially eagerly:   He won the prize they all coveted.
verb (used without object)
3. to have an inordinate or wrongful desire.


Today's Old Testament Reading -   Psalms 1:1-6

1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the wicked and does not take a stand in the path that sinners tread, nor a seat in company with cynics,
2 but who delights in the law of Yahweh and murmurs his law day and night.
3 Such a one is like a tree planted near streams; it bears fruit in season and its leaves never wither, and every project succeeds.
4 How different the wicked, how different! Just like chaff blown around by the wind
6 For Yahweh watches over the path of the upright, but the path of the wicked is doomed.


Today's Epistle -   Revelation 1:1-4; 2:1-5

1 A revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him so that he could tell his servants what is now to take place very soon; he sent his angel to make it known to his servant John,
2 and John has borne witness to the Word of God and to the witness of Jesus Christ, everything that he saw.
3 Blessed is anyone who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed those who hear them, if they treasure the content, because the Time is near.
4 John, to the seven churches of Asia: grace and peace to you from him who is, who was, and who is to come, from the seven spirits who are before his throne,
1 'Write to the angel of the church in Ephesus and say, "Here is the message of the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand and who lives among the seven golden lamp-stands:
2 I know your activities, your hard work and your perseverance. I know you cannot stand wicked people, and how you put to the test those who were self-styled apostles, and found them false.
3 I know too that you have perseverance, and have suffered for my name without growing tired.
4 Nevertheless, I have this complaint to make: you have less love now than formerly.
5 Think where you were before you fell; repent, and behave as you did at first, or else, if you will not repent, I shall come to you and take your lamp-stand from its place.


Today's Gospel Reading -   Luke 18:35-43

Opening prayer
Father of all that is good,
keep us faithful in serving you,
for to serve you is our lasting joy.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Gospel reading - Luke 18,35-43
Now it happened that as Jesus drew near to Jericho there was a blind man sitting at the side of the road begging. When he heard the crowd going past he asked what it was all about, and they told him that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by. So he called out, 'Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.' The people in front scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he only shouted all the louder, 'Son of David, have pity on me.'
Jesus stopped and ordered them to bring the man to him, and when he came up, asked him, 'What do you want me to do for you?' 'Sir,' he replied, 'let me see again.' Jesus said to him, 'Receive your sight. Your faith has saved you.' And instantly his sight returned and he followed him praising God, and all the people who saw it gave praise to God.

• The Gospel today describes the arrival of Jesus to Jericho. It is the last stop before going up to Jerusalem, where the “Exodus” of Jesus will take place, according to what he announced in his Transfiguration (Lk 9, 31) and along the way up to Jerusalem (Lk 9, 44; 18, 31-33).

• Luke 18, 35-37: The blind man sitting on the side of the road. “Now it happened that as Jesus drew near to Jericho, there was a blind man sitting on the side of the road begging. When he heard the crowd going past he asked what it was all about. They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by”. In the Gospel of Mark, the blind man is called Bartimaeus (Mk 10, 46). Since he was blind, he could not participate in the procession which accompanied Jesus. At that time, there were many blind people in Palestine, because the strong sun which hit the whitened rocky earth hurt the eyes which were not protected.

• Luke 18, 38-39: The cry of the blind man and the reaction of the people. “Then he began to cry out: Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” He calls Jesus using the title “Son of David”. The catechism of that time taught that the Messiah would be of the descent of David, “Son of David”, a glorious Messiah. Jesus did not like this title. In quoting the Messianic Psalm, he asks himself: “How is it that the Messiah can be the son of David if even David calls him “My Lord?” (Lk 20, 41-44) The cry of the blind man bothers the people who accompany Jesus. Because of this, “The people in front scolded him and told him to keep quiet. They tried to stop him but he only shouted all the louder, Son of David have pity on me!” Even up to our time the cry of the poor bothers the established society: migrants, beggars, refugees, sick with AIDS, and so many!

• Luke 18, 40-41: The reaction of Jesus before the cry of the blind man. And what does Jesus do? “Jesus stopped and ordered them to bring the man to him”. Those who wanted to stop the blind man from shouting because this bothered them, now asked by Jesus, are obliged to help the poor man to get to Jesus. The Gospel of Mark adds that the blind man left everything and went to Jesus. He did not have too much; only his mantle. That is what he possessed to cover his body (cf. Es 22, ­25-26). That was his security! That was his land! Today, also, Jesus listens to the cry of the poor which, we, many times do not want to hear. “When he came up to Jesus, he asked him: What do you want me to do for you?” It is not sufficient to shout or cry out, it is necessary to know why he is shouting! The blind man answers: “Lord that I may see again”.

• Luke 18, 42-43: Go! Your faith has saved you! “And Jesus says: Receive your sight. Your faith has saved you“. Immediately he recovered his sight and began to follow Jesus praising God. And all the people, when they saw that, praised God.” The blind man had called Jesus with an idea which was not totally correct, because the title “Son of David” was not completely correct. But he had greater faith in Jesus than in his ideas about Jesus. He did not demand anything like Peter did (Mk 8, 32-33). He knew how to give his life accepting Jesus without imposing any conditions. Healing is the fruit of his faith in Jesus. Once he was cured, he follows Jesus and walks along with Him toward Jerusalem. In this way he becomes a model disciple for all of us who want “to follow Jesus along the road” toward Jerusalem: to believe more in Jesus and not so much in our ideas about Jesus! In this decision to walk with Jesus is found the source of courage and the seed of the victory on the cross. Because the cross is not something fatal, but it is an experience of God. It is the consequence of the commitment of Jesus, in obedience to the Father, to serve the brothers and not to accept privileges!

• Faith is a force which transforms the person. The Good News of the Kingdom announced by Jesus was a sort of fertilizer. It made the seed of life hidden in people to grow; that seed hidden like the fire under the ashes of observance without life. Jesus blew on the ashes and the fire lit up. The Kingdom appears and the people rejoice. The condition was always the same: to believe in Jesus. The cure of the blind man clarifies a very important aspect of our faith. Even calling Jesus with ideas which are not completely correct, the blind man had faith and he was cured. He was converted; he left everything behind and followed Jesus along the road toward Calvary! The full understanding of the following of Jesus is not obtained from a theoretical instruction, but rather from a practical commitment, walking together with Him along the way of service, from Galilee to Jerusalem. Anyone who insists in keeping the idea of Peter, that is, of the glorious Messiah without a cross, will understand nothing of Jesus and will not succeed in attaining the attitude of a true disciple of Jesus. Anyone who knows how to believe in Jesus and gives himself (Lk 9, 23-24), anyone who knows how to accept to be last (Lk 22, 26), who knows how to drink the chalice and to carry his/her own cross (Mt 20, 22; Mk 10, 38), this one, like the blind man, even not having ideas completely correct, will succeed “to follow Jesus along the way” (Lk 18, 43). In this certainty of walking together with Jesus is found the source of courage and the seed of victory on the cross.

Personal questions
• How do I see and hear the cry of the poor: migrants, Negroes, sick of AIDS, beggars, refugees, and so many others?
• How is my faith: am I more fixed on my ideas about Jesus or on Jesus?

Concluding prayer
How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the wicked
and does not take a stand in the path that sinners tread,
nor a seat in company with cynics,
but who delights in the law of Yahweh
and murmurs his law day and night. (Ps 1,1-2)

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

Elizabeth of Hungary, T.O.S.F., (German: Heilige Elisabeth von Thüringen, Hungarian: Árpád-házi Szent Erzsébet, 7 July 1207 – 17 November 1231)[5] was a princess of the Kingdom of Hungary, Landgravine of Thuringia, Germany and a greatly venerated Catholic saint.[6] Elizabeth was married at the age of 14, and widowed at 20. After her husband's death she sent her children away and regained her dowry, using the money to build a hospital where she herself served the sick. She became a symbol of Christian charity after her death at the age of 24 and was quickly canonized.

Elizabeth was the daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary and Gertrude of Merania. Her mother's sister was St. Hedwig of Andechs, wife of Duke Heinrich I of Silesia.[5] Her ancestry included many notable figures of European royalty, going back as far as Vladimir the Great of Kievan Rus. According to tradition, she was born in the castle of Sárospatak, Kingdom of Hungary, on 7 July 1207.[7][8][9] According to a different tradition she was born in Pozsony, Kingdom of Hungary (modern-day Bratislava, Slovakia), where she lived in the Castle of Posonium until the age of four.

A sermon printed in 1497 by the Franciscan friar Osvaldus de Lasco, a church official in Hungary, is the first to name Sárospatak as the saint's birthplace, perhaps building on local tradition. The veracity of this account is not without reproach: Osvaldus also transforms the miracle of the roses (see below) to Elizabeth's childhood in Sárospatak, and has her leave Hungary at the age of five.[10]


St. Elizabeth washing a sick
a scene from the main altar of St. Elisabeth Cathedral in Košice, 15th century
Elizabeth was brought to the court of the rulers of Thuringia in central Germany, to become betrothed to Louis IV, Landgrave of Thuringia, (he is also known as Ludwig IV) a future union which would reinforce political alliances between the families.[a] She was raised by the Thuringian court, so she would be familiar with the local language and culture.

In 1221, at the age of fourteen, Elizabeth married Louis; the same year he was enthroned as Landgrave Louis IV, and the marriage appears to have been happy. After her marriage, she continued her charitable practices, which included spinning wool for the clothing of the poor. In 1223, Franciscan friars arrived, and the teenage Elizabeth not only learned about the ideals of Francis of Assisi, but started to live them.[12] Louis was not upset by his wife's charitable efforts, believing that the distribution of his wealth to the poor would bring eternal reward; he is venerated in Thuringia as a saint, though he was never canonized by the Church.

It was also about this time that the priest and later inquisitor Konrad von Marburg gained considerable influence over Elizabeth when he was appointed as her confessor. In the spring of 1226, when floods, famine, and plague wrought havoc in Thuringia, Louis, a staunch supporter of the Hohenstaufen Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, represented Frederick II at the Imperial Diet held in Cremona. Elizabeth assumed control of affairs at home and distributed alms in all parts of their territory, even giving away state robes and ornaments to the poor. Below Wartburg Castle, she built a hospital with twenty-eight beds and visited the inmates daily to attend to them.

Elizabeth's life changed irrevocably on 11 September 1227 when Louis, en route to join the Sixth Crusade, died of a fever in Otranto, Italy. On hearing the news of her husband's death, Elizabeth is reported to have said, "He is dead. He is dead. It is to me as if the whole world died today."[13] His remains were returned to Elizabeth in 1228 and entombed at the Abbey of Reinhardsbrunn.


St. Elizabeth spinning wool for the poor
by Marianne Stokes (1895)
After Louis' death, his brother, Henry Raspe, assumed the regency during the minority of Elizabeth's eldest child, Hermann (1222–1241). After bitter arguments over the disposal of her dowry—a conflict in which Konrad was appointed as the official Defender of her case by Pope Gregory IX—Elizabeth left the court at Wartburg and moved to Marburg in Hesse.

Up to 1888 it was believed, on account of the testimony of one of Elizabeth's servants during the canonization process, that Elizabeth was driven from the Wartburg in the winter of 1227 by her brother-in-law, Heinrich Raspe, who acted as regent for her son, then only five years old. About 1888 various investigators (Börner, Mielke, Wenck, E. Michael, etc.) asserted that Elizabeth left the Wartburg voluntarily. She was not able at the castle to follow Konrad's command to eat only food obtained in a way that was certainly right and proper.[5]

Following her husband's death, Elizabeth made solemn vows to Konrad similar to those of a nun. These vows included celibacy, as well as complete obedience to Konrad as her confessor and spiritual director. Konrad's treatment of Elizabeth was extremely harsh, and he held her to standards of behavior which were almost impossible to meet. Among the punishments he is alleged to have ordered were physical beatings; he also ordered her to send away her three children. Her pledge to celibacy proved a hindrance to her family's political ambitions. Elizabeth was more or less held hostage at Pottenstein, Bavaria, the castle of her uncle, Bishop Ekbert of Bamberg, in an effort to force her to remarry. Elizabeth, however, held fast to her vow, even threatening to cut off her own nose so that no man would find her attractive enough to marry.[14]

Elizabeth's second child Sophie of Thuringia (1224–1275) married Henry II, Duke of Brabant and was the ancestress of the Landgraves of Hesse, since in the War of the Thuringian Succession she won Hesse for her son Heinrich I, called the Child. Elizabeth's third child, Gertrude of Altenberg (1227–1297), was born several weeks after the death of her father; she became abbess of the monastery of Altenberg Abbey, Hesse near Wetzlar.

She then built a hospital at Marburg for the poor and the sick with the money from her dowry, where she and her companions cared for them. Her official biography written as part of the canonization process describes how she ministered to the sick and continued to give money to the poor. In 1231, she died in Marburg at the age of twenty-four.

After her death, Elizabeth was commonly associated with the Third Order of St. Francis, the primarily lay branch of the Franciscan Order, though it is not sure that she actually formally joined them.[15] It must be kept in mind, though, that the Third Order was such a new development in the Franciscan movement, that no one official ritual had been established at that point. Elizabeth clearly had a ceremony of consecration in which she adopted a Franciscan religious habit in her new way of life, as noted above.


Elisabethkirche in Marburg

Floorplan of Elisabethkirche

Elisabeth church in Grave, The Netherlands
Very soon after the death of Elizabeth, miracles were reported that happened at her grave in the church of the hospital, especially those of healing. On the suggestion of Konrad, and by papal command, examinations were held of those who had been healed between August, 1232, and January, 1235. The results of those examinations was supplemented by a brief vita of the saint-to-be, and together with the testimony of Elizabeth's handmaidens and companions (bound in a booklet called the Libellus de dictis quatuor ancillarum s. Elizabeth confectus), proved sufficient reason for the quick canonization of Elizabeth on 27 May 1235 in Perugia—no doubt helped along by her family's power and influence. Very soon after her death, hagiographical texts of her life appeared all over Germany, the most famous being Dietrich of Apolda's Vita S. Elisabeth, which was written between 1289 and 1297.

She was canonized by Pope Gregory IX. The papal bull declaring her a saint is on display in the Schatzkammer of the Deutschordenskirche in Vienna, Austria. Her body was laid in a magnificent golden shrine—still to be seen today—in the Elisabeth Church (Marburg). Her remains were removed and scattered by her own descendant, the Landgrave Philip I "the Magnanimous" of Hesse, at the time of the Reformation. It is now a Protestant church, but has spaces set aside for Catholic worship. Marburg became a center of the Teutonic Order, which adopted St. Elizabeth as its secondary patroness. The Order remained in Marburg until its official dissolution by Napoleon I of France in 1803.

After her death, Elizabeth was frequently associated with the Third Order of St. Francis, which helped propagate her cult. Whether she ever joined the order, only recently founded in 1221, is not proven to everyone's satisfaction. From her support of the friars sent to Thuringia, she was made known to the founder, St. Francis of Assisi, who sent her a personal message of blessing shortly before his death in 1226. Upon her canonization she was declared the patron saint of the Third Order of St. Francis, an honor she shares with St. Louis IX of France.

Elizabeth's shrine became one of the main German centers of pilgrimage of the 14th century and early 15th century. During the course of the 15th century, the popularity of the cult of St. Elisabeth slowly faded, though to some extent this was mitigated by an aristocratic devotion to St. Elizabeth, since through her daughter Sophia she was an ancestor of many leading aristocratic German families. But three hundred years after her death, one of Elizabeth's many descendants, the Landgrave Philip I "the Magnanimous" of Hesse, a leader of the Protestant Reformation and one of the most important supporters of Martin Luther, raided the church in Marburg and demanded that the Teutonic Order hand over Elizabeth's bones, in order to disperse her relics and thus put an end to the already declining pilgrimages to Marburg. Philip also took away the crowned agate chalice in which St. Elizabeth's head rested, but returned it after being imprisoned by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. The chalice was subsequently plundered by Swedish troops during the Thirty Years' War and is now on display at The Swedish History Museum in Stockholm. St Elizabeth's skull and some of her bones can be seen at the Convent of St Elisabeth in Vienna; some relics also survive at the shrine in Marburg.

Depictions in art

Saint Elizabeth is often depicted holding a basket of bread, or some other sort of food or beverage, characteristic of her devotion to the poor and hungry.[16]

Miracle of the Roses

Elizabeth is perhaps best known for her miracle of the roses which says that whilst she was taking bread to the poor in secret, she met her husband Ludwig on a hunting party, who, in order to quell suspicions of the gentry that she was stealing treasure from the castle, asked her to reveal what was hidden under her cloak. 

In that moment, her cloak fell open and a vision of white and red roses could be seen, which proved to Ludwig that God's protecting hand was at work.[18] Her husband, according to the vitae, was never troubled by her charity and always supported it. 

In some versions of this story, it is her brother in law, Heinrich Raspe, who questions her. Hers is the first of many miracles that associate Christian saints with roses, and is the most frequently depicted in the saint's iconography.

Crucifix in the bed

Another popular story about St. Elizabeth, also found in Dietrich of Apolda's Vita, relates how she laid the leper Helias of Eisenach in the bed she shared with her husband. Her mother-in-law, who was horrified, told this immediately to Ludwig on his return. When Ludwig removed the bedclothes in great indignation, at that instant "Almighty God opened the eyes of his soul, and instead of a leper he saw the figure of Christ crucified stretched upon the bed."[18] This story appears in Franz Liszt's oratorio about Elizabeth.[19]

2007 centennial celebrations

Woodcarved polychromed sculpture of Saint Elisabeth with a beggar, by Rudolf Moroder in the Parish Church of Urtijëi, Italy.
The year 2007 was proclaimed "Elizabeth Year" in Marburg. All year, events commemorating Elizabeth's life and works were held, culminating in a town-wide festival to celebrate the 800th anniversary of her birth on July 7, 2007. Pilgrims came from all over the world for the occasion, which ended with a special service in the Elisabeth Church that evening.

A new musical based on Elisabeth's life, Elisabeth--die Legende einer Heiligen ("Elizabeth--Legend of a Saint"), starring Sabrina Weckerlin as Elizabeth, Armin Kahn as Ludwig, and Chris Murray as Konrad, premiered in Eisenach in 2007. It was performed in Eisenach and Marburg for two years, and closed in Eisenach in July, 2009.[20][21]

The entire Third Order of St. Francis, both the friars and sisters of the Third Order Regular and the Secular Franciscan Order, joined in this celebration through a two-year long program of study of her life. This was conducted throughout the Order, across the globe. There were also religious ceremonies held worldwide during that period. The yearlong observance of the centennial which began on her feast day in 2007 was closed at the General Chapter of the Order, held in Budapest in 2008. The New York region of the Order produced a movie of her life, produced by a sister of the Order, Lori Pieper, O.F.S., Ph.D.[22]


  1. Wolf, Kenneth Baxter, ed. (2010-11-24). The Life and Afterlife of St. Elizabeth of Hungary: Testimony from her Canonization Hearings. Oxford University Press. pp. x. ISBN 9780199732586. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  2. Hackett, Mary, ed. (1848). The life of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Dutchess of Thuringia. p. 244. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  3. Paolo Bonavoglia. "Perpetual calendar". Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  4. Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 108
  5. Catholic Encyclopedia "St. Elizabeth of Hungary". Catholic Encyclopedia.
  6. "Saint Elizabeth of Hungary". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  7. Albrecht, Thorsten; Atzbach, Rainer (2007). Elisabeth von Thüringen: Leben und Wirkung in Kunst und Kulturgeschichte. Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag. p. 7.
  8. Ohler, Norbert (2006). Elisabeth von Thüringen: Fürstin im Dienst der Niedrigsten. Gleichen: Muster-Schmidt Verlag. p. 15.
  9. Zippert, Christian; Gerhard Jost (2007). Hingabe und Heiterkeit: Vom Leben und Wirken der heiligen Elisabeth. Kassel: Verlag Evangelischer Medienverband. p. 9., 2007), 9.
  10. Ortrud Reber, Elizabeth von Thüringen, Landgräfin und Heilige (Regensburg: Pustet, 2006), 33-34.
  11. Reber, Ortrud (2006). Elisabeth von Thüringen, Landgräfin und Heilige. Regensburg: Pustet. ISBN 9783791720142.
  12. Foley, OFM, Leonard, "St. Elizabeth of Hungary", Saint of the Day, Lives, Lessons, and Feast, (revised by Pat McCloskey OFM), Franciscan Media, ISBN 978-0-86716-887-7
  13. Rainer Koessling, ed. and trans., Leben und Legende der heiligen Elisabeth nach Dietrich von Apolda (Frankfurt am Main: Insel Verlag, 1997), 52.
  14. Rainer Koessling, ed. and trans., Leben und Legende der heiligen Elizabeth nach Dietrich von Apolda (Frankfurt am Main: Insel Verlag, 1997), 59.
  15. See Kaspar Elm, "Die Stellung der Frau in Ordenswesen, Semireligiosentum und Häresie zur Zeit der heiligen Elisabeth" (Sankt Elisabeth: Fürstin, Dienerin, Heilige [Sigmaringen: Thorbecke, 1981; 7–28]), 7–8.
  16. Birmingham Museum of Art : guide to the collection. Birmingham, Ala: Birmingham Museum of Art, 2010.
  17. Rózsák terei Szent Erzsébet Templon [1](Hungarian)
  18. Hagiography of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, by Charles Forbes René de Montalembert, 1839
  19. McNichols, William (November 1985). "Elizabeth of Hungary:For Everything there is a Season". The Cord 35 (10): 297–302. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  20. "spotlight Musicalproduktion GmbH // 2013: Die Päpstin - Das Musical". 2013-07-21. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  21. "Elisabeth – Die Legende einer Heiligen (Musical) – Wikipedia" (in German). Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  22. A Woman for our Times


Further reading

  • de Robeck, Nesta. Saint Elizabeth of Hungary : A Story of Twenty-Four Years. Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1954.
  • Seesholtz, Anne. Saint Elizabeth: Her Brother's Keeper. New York: Philosophical Library, 1948.


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Today's Snippet I:   Miracle of the Roses

A miracle of the roses is a miracle in which roses manifest an activity of God or of a saint.[1] Such a miracle is presented in various hagiographies and legends in different forms,[2] and it occurs in connection with diverse individuals such as Saints Elizabeth of Hungary (1207–1231), Elizabeth of Portugal (1271–1336), and Our Lady of Guadalupe (appeared in 1531).

Symbolism of the rose

Niccolo Betti San Diego de Alcalá Descalzas Reales
In the Latin West the symbolism of the rose is of Greco-Roman heritage but influenced by and finally transformed through Latin biblical and liturgical texts. In Greco-Roman culture the rose's symbolic qualities represented beauty, the season of spring, and love. It also spoke of the fleetness of life, and therefore of death. In Rome the feast called "Rosalia" was a feast of the dead: thus the flower referred to the next world.[3]

This symbolism attained a deeper complexity when contrasted with the rose's thorns. This contrast inspired the Christian Latin poet Sedulius, who wrote (between 430-450) a very elaborate comparison between Eve, our first mother, and Mary, the Mother of Jesus our Savior. He illustrated the parallelism already made by the martyr and apologist Justin (around 150) and developed it in a deep poetic and doctrinal liturgical teaching in his Paschal song, Carmen paschal.[3]

The rose was evidently a privileged symbol for Mary, Queen of heaven and earth. We see this development later during the Middle Ages, when the rose became an attribute of many other holy women, including Elizabeth of Hungary, Elizabeth of Portugal, Casilda of Toledo, and for the martyrs in general. The rose is even a symbol for Christ himself, as seen in the German Christmas song, "es ist ein 'Rose' entsprungen."[3]

During the Middle Ages the rose was cultivated in monastery gardens and used for medicinal purposes. It became a symbol in religious writing and iconography in different images and settings, to invoke a variety of intellectual and emotional responses.[4] The mystic rose appears in Dante's Divine Comedy, where it represents God's love. By the twelfth century, the red rose had come to represent Christ's passion, and the blood of the martyrs.[5]

The most common association of the rose is with the Virgin Mary. The third-century Saint Ambrose believed that there were roses in the Garden of Eden, initially without thorns, but which became thorny after the fall, and came to symbolize Original Sin itself. Thus the Blessed Virgin is often referred to as the 'rose without thorns', since she was immaculately conceived. Saint Bernard compared her virginity to a white rose and her charity to a red rose. With the rise of Marian devotion and the Gothic cathedral in the twelfth century, the image of the rose became even more prominent in religious life. Cathedrals built around this time usually include a rose window, dedicated to the Virgin, at the end of a transept or above the entrance. The thirteenth century Saint Dominic is credited with the institution of the Rosary, a series of prayers to the Virgin, symbolized by garlands of roses worn in Heaven.[4]

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

Elisabeth of Hungary with roses
In Western Europe, the best-known version of a miracle of the roses concerns Saint Elizabeth of Hungary (also called Elisabeth of Thuringia), the daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary, who spent most of her life living with her in-laws in Germany (a ruling family of Thuringia), who kept court at Wartburg Castle.[6]

It has been suggested that the legend originated in a sermon given by Caesarius von Heisterbach in which he reflects on the occasion of the translation of the remains of Saint Elizabeth, in 1236. Caesarius speaks of a sweet aroma that emanates from the grave as soon as it is opened (a common theme in hagiography).[7] This metaphorical or actual aroma could have been translated into a physical event, the miracle of the roses.[6] The first report of a miracle resembling that of the roses is by Franciscans in the mid-13th century. Their account is of spring flowers, and the event takes place in Hungary, at Elizabeth's home when she was five years old.[8] The miracle as we know it, with roses and in Germany, is first reported in 1332, in a Franciscan book of prayers,[6] though it has also been proposed that the miracle was "translated" from Elizabeth of Portugal to Elisabeth of Hungary in the 19th century.[9][10]

In its most characteristic form the legend goes as follows. One day the young but pious Elizabeth, in the company of one or more serving women, descends from Wartburg Castle down to the village of Eisenach, below the castle. She is carrying meat, eggs, and bread under her mantle. Supposedly she has taken items from the family dining table to distribute to the poor in the village, against the wishes of her family, who frown upon such behavior. Halfway down, she unexpectedly meets her husband Ludwig IV of Thuringia, who asks, upon seeing her bulk, what she is carrying. Embarrassed and speechless as she is, she does not know what to say. Ludwig opens her mantle, and to his surprise (in some versions this takes place in the dead of winter) finds her carrying a bouquet of roses.[8]

Saint Elizabeth of Portugal

Elizabeth of Portugal
Very much the same story is told of Elizabeth of Portugal, also known as Elizabeth of Aragon (1271–4 July 1336), who was the great-niece of Elizabeth of Hungary. Married to the profligate King Denis of Portugal, she, like her great-aunt, showed great devotion at an early age, and likewise was charitable toward the poor, against the wishes of her husband. Caught one day by her husband, while carrying bread in her apron, the food was turned into roses. Since this occurred in January, King Denis reportedly had no response and let his wife continue. The story is somewhat apocryphal; while it shows up in popular versions of the saint's life,[11][12] the account is missing from more authoritative sources such as the revised 1991 edition of Alban Butler's Lives of the Saints.[13]

Saint Casilda of Toledo

Santa Casilda
Similar also is the legend of Casilda of Toledo (died c. 1050), a daughter of a Muslim king of Toledo, Spain during the rule of the Caliphate, who showed special kindness to Christian prisoners.[14][15] She would carry bread hidden in her clothes to feed these prisoners; one day, when caught, the bread was miraculously changed into roses.[16] In the famous painting of Saint Casilda by the 17th-century painter Francisco Zurbarán, roses are visible in the saint's lap; the miracle is also depicted in a painting by the 19th-century painter Jose Nogales. But while Saint Casilda supposedly died in the 11th century, predating the birth of both Elizabeth of Hungary and Elizabeth of Portugal, her hagiography was not written until three centuries after her death, and is likely influenced by the legend of one of these Elizabeths.[17]

Saint Didacus of Alcalá

Saint Didacus of Alcalá by Zubaran

Of the 15th-century Franciscan St. Didacus of Alcalá, also known as San Diego, the same miracle is told: as a lay brother of the Franciscans in Spain, he often took bread from the monastery's dining table to give to the poor. One day, leaving the convent with a cloak full of food, he was accused and challenged to open his cloak; miraculously, the loaves of bread had changed into roses.[18][19]

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Miguel Cabrera, Juan Diego
The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is of an entirely different character, although here again the miraculous presence of the roses in the middle of winter is a sign of the presence of the divinity. The account is a corollary to a Marian apparition, Our Lady of Guadalupe, found in the 1556 booklet Nican Mopohua, and supposedly taking place in 1531.[20] It concerns a native inhabitant of Mexico named Juan Diego, whom the Virgin chooses to convey a message to an unwilling bishop, that "Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow and will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities and misfortunes." The bishop however, does not believe Diego's story. He returns to his field, where again the Virgin appears to him, with the same message. Diego again goes to the bishop, with the same result, and the remark that he has to bring a token if he is to be believed. The fourth time the Virgin appears, she directs Diego toward "varied Castilian flowers" which he picks; she then places the flowers in his mantle.[21] (The identification of these flowers as Castilian roses or Damask roses, is a later addition.) This time the bishop is convinced, especially when an image of the Virgin miraculously appears on Diego's cloak.[22]

Saint Rita of Cascia

St. Rita of Cascia
A miracle involving roses occurred to Saint Rita of Cascia. The winter before the end of her life, a cousin visited her and asked her if she desired anything from her old home at Roccaporena. Saint Rita responded by asking for a rose and a fig from the garden. It was January and her cousin did not expect to find anything due to the snowy weather. However, when her relative went to the house, a single blooming rose was found in the garden, as well as a fully ripened and edible fig. Her cousin brought the rose and fig back to Saint Rita at the convent, who thanked her and gave the rose to her sisters.

The rose is thought to represent God's love for Rita and Rita's ability to intercede on behalf of lost causes or impossible cases. Rita is often depicted holding roses or with roses nearby, and on her feast day, churches and shrines of Saint Rita provide roses to the congregation that are blessed by priests during Mass.

Statement of Pope John Paul II

On the occasion of the centenary of the canonization of Saint Rita of Cascia, Pope John Paul II stated that the worldwide devotion to Saint Rita is symbolized by the rose, and said: "It is to be hoped that the life of everyone devoted to her will be like the rose picked in the garden of Roccaporena the winter before the saint's death. That is, let it be a life sustained by passionate love for the Lord Jesus; a life capable of responding to suffering and to thorns with forgiveness and the total gift of self, in order to spread everywhere the good odour of Christ (cf. 2 Cor 2:15) through a consistently lived proclamation of the Gospel." He added that Saint Rita spiritually offers her rose to each of those he addressed as an exhortation to "live as witnesses to a hope that never disappoints and as missionaries of a life that conquers death".[23]


  1. Lafaye, Jacques (1987). Quetzalcoatl and Guadaloupe: The Formation of Mexican National Consciousness, 1531-1813. University of Chicago Press. p. 55. ISBN 0-521-42018-0. Retrieved 11 December 2008.
  2. Klaniczay, Gábor (2002). Holy Rulers and Blessed Princesses: Dynastic Cults in Medieval Central Europe. Cambridge University Press. p. 422. ISBN 0-521-42018-0. Retrieved 11 December 2008.
  3. Koehler, S.M., Rev. Theodore A., "The Christian Symbolism of the Rose", Roses and the Arts: A Cultural and Horticultural Engagement, Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio, May 8, 1986.
  4. Carleton, Sarah (Spring 2004). "A rose is a rose is a rose:The Rose as Symbol in the Ars antiqua Motet". Discourses in Music (Univ. of Toronto) 5 (1). Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  5. Wilson, Jean C. (2004). "'Richement et pompeusement parée': the collier of Margaret of York and the politics of love in late medieval Burgundy". Excavating the Medieval Image: Manuscripts, Artists, Audiences; Essays in Honor of Sandra Hindman. Ashgate. pp. 109–134. ISBN 978-0-7546-3143-9. 118.
  6. Reber, Ortrud (1982). Die heilige Elisabeth: Leben und Legende. St. Ottilien.
  7. Maresch, Maria (1931). Elisabeth von Thüringen: Schutzfrau des deutschen Volkes. Bonn: Verlag der Buchgemeinde. p. 220..
  8. Hohberg, Rainer; Weigelt, Sylvia (2006). Brot und Rosen: Das Leben der heiligen Elisabeth in Sagen und Legenden. Wartburg: Wartburg Verlag. ISBN 978-3-86160-183-8.
  9. Pörnbacher, Hans (2003). Die hl. Elisabeth von Thüringen. Regensburg: Schnell und Steiner. p. 20. ISBN 3-7954-8022-1. "Diese Episode wurde spät erst von Elisabeth von Portugal auf 'unsere' Elisabeth übertragen. . . . Im 19. Jahrhundert erst wurde die Legende durch die Nazarener aus Italien importiert (M. Hartig)."
  10. Hartig, Michael (1931). "Die hl. Elisabeth von Thüringen und die deutsche Kunst: Eine ikonographische Studie". Die christliche Kunst 27: 194–223.
  11. "Saint Elizabeth of Portugal". The Portuguese in the United States. Library of Congress. 1998. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
  12. "St. Elizabeth of Portugal - July 8". Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. Tradition in Action. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
  13. Butler, Alban; Michael J. Walsh (1991). Butler's Lives of the Saints. HarperCollins. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-06-069299-5.
  14. "Burgos". Catholic Encyclopedia. 1914. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
  15. "April 9: St. Casilda". Saint of the Day. American Catholic. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
  16. Husenbeth, Frederick Charles (1860). Emblems of Saints: By which They are Distinguished in Works of Art. Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts. p. 33.
  17. Weinstein, Donald; Rudolph M. Bell (1986). Saints and Society: The Two Worlds of Western Christendom, 1000-1700. Chicago: U of Chicago P. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-226-89056-2.
  18. Halavais, Mary H. (1999). "Rev. of La Historia de San Diego de Alcala. Su vida, su canonizacion y su legado by Thomas E. Case". The Journal of San Diego History (San Diego Historical Society) 45 (4). Retrieved 2008-12-22.
  19. Tabor, Margaret Emma (1908). The Saints in Arts: With Their Attributes and Symbols Alphabetically Arranged. Frederick A. Stokes. p. 59.
  20. Rodriguez, Jeanette (1996). "Sangre llama a sangre: Cultural Memory as a Source of Theological Insight". Hispanic/Latino Theology: Challenge and Promise (Fortress): 117–33. ISBN 978-0-8006-2921-2.
  21. Cawley, Martinus (1984). Guadalupe: from the Aztec language. CARA Studies of Popular Devotion No. 2: Guadalupan Studies No. 6. Guadalupe Abbey.
  22. "Shrine of Guadalupe". Catholic Encyclopedia. 1914. Retrieved 2008-12-06.
  23. "Address of Holy Father John Paul II on the centenary of St. Rita's canonization.". 20 May 2000.



Today's Snippet II:  Marburg, Germany

Marburg is a university town in the German federal state (Bundesland) of Hessen, capital of the Marburg-Biedenkopf district (Landkreis).

The town area spreads along the valley of the river Lahn and has a population of approximately 72,000.

 Having been awarded town privileges in 1222, Marburg served as capital of the landgraviate of Hessen-Marburg during periods of the 15th to 17th centuries. The University of Marburg was founded in 1527 and dominates the public life in the town to this day.


Founding and early history

Like many settlements, Marburg developed at the crossroads of two important early medieval highways: the trade route linking Cologne and Prague and the trade route from the North Sea to the Alps and on to Italy, the former crossing the river Lahn here. The settlement was protected and customs were raised by a small castle built during the 9th or 10th century by the Giso. Marburg has been a town since 1140, as proven by coins. From the Gisos, it fell around that time to the Landgraves of Thuringia, residing on the Wartburg above Eisenach.

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

In 1228, the widowed princess-landgravine of Thuringia, Elizabeth of Hungary, chose Marburg as her dowager seat, as she did not get along well with her brother-in-law, the new landgrave. The countess dedicated her life to the sick and would become after her early death in 1231, aged 24, one of the most prominent female saints of the era. She was canonized in 1235.

Capital of Hessen

In 1264, St Elizabeth's daughter Sophie of Brabant, succeeded in winning the Landgraviate of Hessen, hitherto connected to Thuringia, for her son Henry. Marburg (alongside Kassel) was one of the capitals of Hessen from that time until about 1540. Following the first division of the landgraviate, it was the capital of Hessen-Marburg from 1485 to 1500 and again between 1567 and 1605. Hessen was one of the more powerful second-tier principalities in Germany. Its "old enemy" was the Archbishopric of Mainz, one of the prince-electors, who competed with Hessen in many wars and conflicts for coveted territory, stretching over several centuries.

After 1605, Marburg became just another provincial town, known mostly for the University of Marburg. It became a virtual backwater for two centuries after the Thirty Years' War (1618–48), when it was fought over by Hessen-Darmstadt and Hesse-Kassel. The Hessian territory around Marburg lost more than two-thirds of its population, which was more than in any later wars (including World War I and World War II) combined.


Marburg is the seat of the oldest Protestant-founded university in the world, the University of Marburg (Philipps-Universität-Marburg), founded in 1527. It is one of the smaller "university towns" in Germany: Greifswald, Erlangen, Jena, and Tübingen, as well as the city of Gießen, which is located 30 km south of Marburg.  In 1529, Philipp I of Hesse arranged the Marburg Colloquy, to propitiate Martin Luther and Huldrych Zwingli.


Marburg on the Lahn
Owing to its neglect during the entire 18th century Marburg – like Rye or Chartres – survived as a relatively intact Gothic town, simply because there was no money spent on any new architecture or expansion. When Romanticism became the dominant cultural and artistic paradigm in Germany, Marburg became interesting once again, and many of the leaders of the movement lived, taught, or studied in Marburg. They formed a circle of friends that was of great importance, especially in literature, philology, folklore, and law.

The group included Friedrich Karl von Savigny, the most important jurist of his day and father of the Roman Law adaptation in Germany; the poets, writers, and social activists Achim von Arnim, Clemens Brentano, and especially the latter's sister and the former's later wife, Bettina von Arnim. Most famous internationally, however, were the Brothers Grimm, who collected many of their fairy tales here. The original building inspiring his drawing Rapunzel's Tower stands in Amönau near Marburg. Across the Lahn hills, in the area called Schwalm, little girls' costumes included a red hood.

Prussian town

In the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, the Prince-elector of Hessen had backed Austria. Prussia won and took the opportunity to invade and annex the Electorate of Hessen (as well as Hanover, the city of Frankfurt, and other territories) north of the Main River. However, the pro-Austrian Hesse-Darmstadt remained independent. For Marburg, this turn of events was very positive, because Prussia decided to make Marburg its main administrative centre in this part of the new province Hessen-Nassau and to turn the University of Marburg into the regional academic centre. Thus, Marburg's rise as an administrative and university city began. As the Prussian university system was one of the best in the world at the time, Marburg attracted many respected scholars. However, there was hardly any industry to speak of, so students, professors, and civil servants – who generally had enough but not much money and paid very little in taxes – dominated the town, which tended to be very conservative.

20th century

The Wettergasse in the Old City
Franz von Papen, vice-chancellor of Germany in 1934, delivered an anti-Nazi speech at the University of Marburg on 17 June.

From 1942 to 1945, the whole city of Marburg was turned into a hospital with schools and government buildings turned into wards to augment the existing hospitals.

By the spring of 1945, there were over 20,000 patients – mostly wounded German soldiers. As a result of its being designated a hospital city, there was not much damage from bombings except along the railroad tracks.

In 1945, Marburg became President and Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg's final resting place. His grave is in the Elisabethkirche. He is also an honorary citizen of the town.


Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg known universally as Paul von Hindenburg (2 October 1847 – 2 August 1934) was a Prussian-German field marshal, statesman, and politician, and served as the second President of Germany from 1925 to 1934.

Hindenburg enjoyed a long career in the Prussian Army, retiring in 1911. He was recalled at the outbreak of World War I, and first came to national attention, at the age of 66, as the victor of the decisive Battle of Tannenberg in August 1914. As Germany's Chief of the General Staff from 1916 (having replaced Erich von Falkenhayn on August 29), he and his deputy, Erich Ludendorff, rose greatly in the German public's esteem. Together with Ludendorff he pushed forward the idea of Lebensraum which after the war would be adopted by Hitler's Nazi party. Hindenburg retired again in 1919, but returned to public life in 1925 to be elected as the second President of Germany. Hindenburg, as German President, appointed Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany. Hindenburg personally despised Hitler, condescendingly referring to him as that "Bohemian corporal", confusing (deliberately or not) Hitler's birthplace of Braunau, Austria, with Braunau in Bohemia. Hitler repeatedly and forcefully pressured Hindenburg to appoint him as Chancellor; Hindenburg repeatedly refused Hitler's demand.] Though 84 years old and in poor health, Hindenburg was persuaded to run for reelection in 1932, as he was considered the only candidate who could defeat Hitler. Hindenburg was reelected in a runoff. Although he opposed Hitler, he played an important role in the Nazi Party's rise to power, due to the increasing political instability in the Weimar Republic. He dissolved the parliament twice in 1932 and finally appointed Hitler Chancellor in January 1933. In February, he issued the Reichstag Fire Decree, which suspended various civil liberties, and in March he signed the Enabling Act, which gave Hitler's administration legislative powers. Hindenburg died the following year, after which Hitler declared the office of President vacant and, as "Führer und Reichskanzler", made himself head of state.

Hindenburg's remains were moved six times in the 12 years following his initial interment.

Hindenburg was originally buried in the yard of the castle-like Tannenberg Memorial near Tannenberg, East Prussia (now Stębark, Poland) on 7 August 1934 during a large state funeral, five days after his death. This was against the wishes he had expressed during his life: to be buried in his family plot in Hanover, Germany, next to his wife Gertrud, who had died in 1921.

The following year, Hindenburg's remains were temporarily disinterred, along with the bodies of 20 German unknown soldiers buried at the Tannenberg Memorial, to allow the building of his new crypt there (which required lowering the entire plaza 8 feet (2.4 m)). Hindenburg's bronze coffin was placed in the crypt on 2 October 1935 (the anniversary of his birthday), along with the coffin bearing his wife, which was moved from the family plot.

In January 1945, as Soviet forces advanced into East Prussia, Hitler ordered both coffins to be disinterred for their safety. They were first moved to a bunker just outside Berlin, then to a salt mine at the village of Bernterode, Germany, along with the remains of both Frederick Wilhelm I of Prussia and Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great). The four coffins were hastily marked of their contents using red crayon, and interred behind a 6-foot-thick (1.8 m) masonry wall in a deep recess of the 14-mile (23 km) mine complex, 1,800 feet (550 m) underground. Three weeks later, on 27 April 1945, the coffins were discovered by U.S. Army Ordnance troops after tunneling through the wall. All were subsequently moved to the basement of the heavily guarded Marburg Castle in Marburg an der Lahn, Germany, a collection point for recovered Nazi plunder.

The U.S. Army, in a secret project dubbed "Operation Bodysnatch", had many difficulties in determining the final resting places for the four famous Germans. Sixteen months after the salt mine discovery, in August 1946, the remains of Hindenburg and his wife were finally laid to rest by the American army at St. Elizabeth's, a 13th-century church built by the Teutonic Knights in Marburg, Hesse, where they remain today
The famed zeppelin Hindenburg that was destroyed by fire in 1937 was named in his honor, as was the Hindenburgdamm, a causeway joining the island of Sylt to mainland Schleswig-Holstein that was built during his time in office. The previously German Upper Silesian town of Zabrze (German: Hindenburg O.S.) was also renamed after him in 1915, as well as the SMS Hindenburg, a battlecruiser commissioned in the Imperial German Navy in 1917 and the last capital ship to enter service in the Imperial Navy.

Marburg virus

The city's name is also connected to a filovirus, the Marburg virus, which was first noticed and described during an outbreak in the city. Workers were accidentally exposed to infected Green Monkey tissue at the city's former industrial plant (1967), the Behring-Werke, then part of Hoechst and today of CSL Behring, founded by Marburg citizen and first Nobel Prize in Medicine winner, Emil Adolf von Behring. During the outbreak, 31 people became infected and seven of them died. "Marburg virus" is named after the city per the custom of naming viruses after the location of their first recorded outbreak.

21st century

Green city

Many homes have solar panels and in 2008 a law was passed to make the installation of solar systems on new buildings or as part of renovation projects mandatory. 20 percent of heating system requirements ought to have been covered by solar energy in new buildings. Anyone who fails to install solar panels would have been fined €1,000. The new law, approved on 20 June 2008, should have taken effect in October 2008.[3] However, this law was stopped by the Regierungspräsidium Giessen in September 2008.[4]

City partnerships

Marburg has the following sister cities:[2]
  • France Poitiers, France since 1961
  • Slovenia Maribor, Slovenia since 1969
  • Tunisia Sfax, Tunisia since 1971
  • Germany Eisenach, Thuringia since 1988
  • United Kingdom Northampton, United Kingdom since 1992
  • Romania Sibiu, Romania since 2005


Coat of arms

Wappen Marburg.svg
Marburg's coat of arms shows a Hessian landgrave riding a white horse with a flag and a shield on a red background. The shield shows the red-and-white-striped Hessian lion, also to be seen on Hessen's state arms, and the flag shows a stylized M, blue on gold (or yellow). The arms are also the source of the city flag's colors. The flag has three horizontal stripes colored, from top to bottom, red (from the background), white (from the horse) and blue (from the shield).

The coat of arms, which was designed in the late nineteenth century, is based on a landgrave's seal on a municipal document. It is an example of a very prevalent practice of replacing forgotten coats of arms, or ones deemed not to be representative enough, with motifs taken from seals.

Main sights

Architecturally, Marburg is famous both for its medieval churches and for its castle Marburger Schloss. In particular the Elisabethkirche (St Elizabeth of Hungary Church)—one of the two or three first purely Gothic churches north of the Alps outside of France—is an archetype of Gothic architecture in Germany.

More important, however, is Marburg's status as an unspoilt, spire-dominated, castle-crowned Gothic/Renaissance city on a hill, intact because Marburg was isolated between 1600 and 1850. Marburg established one of the first pedestrian zones in Germany. Marburg's Altstadtsanierung (since 1972) has received many awards and prizes.

Much of the physical attractiveness of Marburg today is the legacy of the legendary Lord Mayor Dr. Hanno Drechsler (in office 1970-1992), who promoted urban renewal and the restoration, for the first time, by object and not by area, i.e., areas were not demolished but rather buildings restored. Thus, at a time when other cities were still pulling down medieval quarters, Marburg was protecting its unique heritage.

Parks in the town include the Old Botanical Garden, as well as the new Botanical Garden outside the town proper.

Landgrafenschloss Marburg

Marburger Schloss (Marburg castle), a.k.a. Landgrafenschloss Marburg, is a castle in Marburg, Hesse, Germany, located on top of Schlossberg (287 m NAP). Built in the 11th century as a fort, it became the first residence of Landgraviate of Hesse (HRE).

Marburg Colloquy had been held here in 1529. The building is today used partly as a museum (Marburger Universitätsmuseum für Kulturgeschichte, Wilhelmsbau, since 1981)[1] and as an event site.

Alter Botanischer Garten Marburg

Alter Botanischer Garten Marburg
The Alter Botanischer Garten Marburg (3.6 hectares), also known as the Alte Botanische Garten am Pilgrimstein, is a historic arboretum and botanical garden maintained by the University of Marburg and located at Pilgrimstein 3, Marburg, Hesse, Germany. It is open daily without charge.

Marburg's first botanical garden was established between 1527-1533 when the humanist, poet, physician and botanist Euricius Cordus, considered a founder of scientific botany in Germany, is known to have set up a private botanical garden of which designs little is known today. In 1786 a second garden attempt was created by Professor Conrad Moench near the Elisabeth Church (Marburg).

Today's garden dates to 1810 when Georg Wilhelm Franz Wenderoth (1774-1861) obtained the site from Jérôme Bonaparte in exchange for the earlier Ketzerbach garden, which he then developed into the English style to create a combination of park landscape and scientific garden. In 1861 Albert Wigand transformed the garden to conform with the school of Peter Joseph Lenné and Johann Heinrich Gustav Meyer, creating sections especially for trees. Later on, 1873-1875 the Botanical Institute was built at Pilgrimstein 4 in Gothic Revival style.

In 1977 the university's gardens were transferred to the Neuer Botanischer Garten Marburg, and in 1994 the Old Botanical Garden became a registered cultural monument. Although still owned by the university, it is now used mainly as a public park containing a fine arboretum of mature trees that are over 200 years old, including specimens Quercus petraea, Platanus x acerifolia, Salix alba, Liriodendron tulipifera, and many conifers.

Philipp University of Marburg

The Lahnberge Campus is dedicated to the natural sciences. The image shows the Multiple Purpose Building, home of the Departments of Mathematics and Computer Science, as well as laboratories for research into material sciences and physical chemistry.
The Philipp University of Marburg (German: Philipps-Universität Marburg), was founded in 1527 by Landgrave Philip I of Hesse (usually called the Magnanimous, although the updated meaning 'haughty' is sometimes given) as one of Germany's oldest universities, dating back to a Protestant foundation. As a state university it has no religious affiliation anymore.

In 1609, the University of Marburg established the world's first professorship in chemistry. In 2012 it opened the first German participative chemistry museum, called "Chemicum". Its experimental course programme is aimed at encouraging young people to pursue careers in science.

It was the main university of the principality of Hesse and remains a public university of that German state. It now has about 25,000 students and 7,500 employees, making Marburg, a town of 72,000 inhabitants, the proverbial "university town" (Universitätsstadt). Though most subjects are grouped, the University of Marburg is not a campus university in the broader sense. About 12% of the students are international, the highest percentage in Hesse. It offers an International summer university programme every summer and has an awarded ERASMUS programme.

Marburg is home to one of Germany's most traditional medical faculties. The German physicians' union is called "Marburger Bund".

Famous alumni and professors

Famous scientists and professors who studied or taught at the University of Marburg:

  • Ludwig Aschoff
  • Emil von Behring
  • Ferdinand Braun
  • Hans Fischer
  • Johann Peter Griess
  • Karl Eugen Guthe
  • Hermann Kolbe
  • Albrecht Kossel
  • Otto Loewi
  • Carl Ludwig
  • Alfred Wegener
  • Karl Ziegler

Famous alumni:

  • Georg Friedrich Creuzer
  • T. S. Eliot (who had to quit a summer school in August 1914 - at start of World War I)
  • Jacob Grimm
  • Wilhelm Grimm
  • Boris Pasternak
  • Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov
  • Ernst Reuter
  • Heinrich Schütz
  • Leo Strauss
  • Wilhelm Röpke
  • Dmitry Ivanovich Vinogradov


  1. "Die Bevölkerung der hessischen Gemeinden". Hessisches Statistisches Landesamt (in German). September 2014.
  2. "Partnerstädte". City of Marburg (in German). Retrieved 3 April 2010.
  3. German college town Marburg becomes first in the nation to require solar panels on new buildings, International Herald Tribune
  4. Marburger Solarsatzung vor dem aus (in german)


Further reading

"Marburg", The Encyclopaedia Britannica (11th ed.), New York: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910, OCLC 14782424


Today's Snippet III:  Elisabethkirche  Marburg, Germany


St. Elizabeth's Church
Elisabethkirche, St. Elizabeth's Church in Marburg, Germany, was built by the Order of the Teutonic Knights in honour of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Her tomb made the church an important pilgrimage destination during the late Middle Ages.


The church is one of the earliest purely Gothic churches in German-speaking areas, and is held to be a model for the architecture of Cologne Cathedral. It is built from sandstone in a cruciform layout. The nave and its flanking aisles have a vaulted ceiling more than 20 m (66 ft) high. The triple quire consists of the Elisabeth quire, the High quire and the Landgrave quire. The crossing is separated from the nave by a stone rood screen. In earlier times, the front part of the church had been reserved for the knights of the Order. The church has two towers with an approximate height of 80 m (263 ft). The northern one is crowned by a star, the southern one by a knight. It served as an inspiration for St. Paul's Church in Strasbourg.

The Gothic shrine of St. Elizabeth is the most important treasure of the church, but other pieces of religious art are also exhibited.


Main portal
Construction started in 1235, the year Elizabeth was canonized. The church was consecrated in 1283. However, the towers were not finished until 1340. The church was property of the Order of the Teutonic Knights; some buildings of the Order still exist near the church, among them the Deutschhausgut, which now houses the mineral collection and the department of geography of the Philipps University of Marburg.

Until the 16th century, the Landgraves of Hesse were buried in the church. In the context of the Reformation, Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse had Elizabeth's remains removed, in order to deter pilgrims from the Protestant city of Marburg. Today, relics of Elizabeth can be found in St. Elizabeth Convent in Vienna, in the City Museum in Stockholm and in Košice.

Most of the knights and clerics of the Order who were attached to the church converted to Protestantism during the 16th century, and the church was used for Protestant services from that point on. For a short time at the beginning of the 19th century, both Catholic Mass and Protestant communion services were celebrated in separate parts of the church.

After World War II, former German president Paul von Hindenburg and his wife were buried in the Elizabeth Church, after the removal of their remains from the Tannenberg memorial in former East Prussia.

Current developments

In order to start a long-needed renovation of the church and the remodeling of its immediate neighborhood, the Stiftung Heilige Elisabeth foundation was established in 2004 and supports the City of Marburg and the Protestant Church of Hesse-Kassel and Waldeck in the financing of the repair measures.


  • Hermann Bauer: Sankt Elisabeth und die Elisabethkirche zu Marburg. Marburg, Hitzeroth 1990 ISBN 3-89616-031-1 (German)
  • Andreas Köstler: Die Ausstattung der Marburger Elisabethkirche. Zur Ästhetisierung des Kultraums im Mittelalter. Berlin, Reimer 1995 ISBN 3-496-01134-3 (German)
  • Eberhard Leppin: Die Elisabethkirche in Marburg an der Lahn. Königstein, Langwiesche 1999 ISBN 3-7845-2913-5 (German


Catholic Catechism 

Part Three:  Life in Christ 

Section Two:  The Ten Commandments

Chapter Two:  Tenth Commandment 

 Article 10:1



Jesus said to his disciples: "Love one another as I have loved you."1 Jn 13:34
2196 In response to the question about the first of the commandments, Jesus says: "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' the second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."2 Mk 12:29-31; cf. Deut 6:4-5; Lev 19:18; Mt 22:34-40; Lk 10:25-28
The apostle St. Paul reminds us of this: "He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. the commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,' and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."3 Rom 13:8-10

Article 10
You shall not covet ... anything that is your neighbor's....
You shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant,, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's.316

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.317

2534 The tenth commandment unfolds and completes the ninth, which is concerned with concupiscence of the flesh. It forbids coveting the goods of another, as the root of theft, robbery, and fraud, which the seventh commandment forbids. "Lust of the eyes" leads to the violence and injustice forbidden by the fifth commandment.318 Avarice, like fornication, originates in the idolatry prohibited by the first three prescriptions of the Law.319 The tenth commandment concerns the intentions of the heart; with the ninth, it summarizes all the precepts of the Law.

316 EX 20:17; Deut 5:21.
317 Mt 6:21.
318 Cf. 1 Jn 2:16; Mic 2:2.
319 Cf. Wis 14:12.


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