top of page

November 17


Saint of the day:
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

Patron Saint of bakers, beggars, brides, charities, death of children

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary’s Story

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.

At the age of 14, Elizabeth was married to Louis of Thuringia, whom she deeply loved. She bore three children. Under the spiritual direction of a Franciscan friar, she led a life of prayer, sacrifice, and service to the poor and sick. Seeking to become one with the poor, she wore simple clothing. Daily she would take bread to hundreds of the poorest in the land who came to her gate.

After six years of marriage, her husband died in the Crusades, and Elizabeth was grief-stricken. Her husband’s family looked upon her as squandering the royal purse, and mistreated her, finally throwing her out of the palace. The return of her husband’s allies from the Crusades resulted in her being reinstated, since her son was legal heir to the throne.

In 1228, Elizabeth joined the Secular Franciscan Order, spending the remaining few years of her life caring for the poor in a hospital which she founded in honor of Saint Francis. Elizabeth’s health declined, and she died before her 24th birthday in 1231. Her great popularity resulted in her canonization four years later.








Elisabethkirche (Saint Elizabeth's Church)

Elisabethstraße 3

35037 Marburg, Germany

*Today this church is only used for Protestant worship services.

Nevertheless, the church still promotes and maintains the memory of St Elizabeth of Hungary.

*Prior to the Protestant Reformation the remains of St Elizabeth of Hungary rested within two separate reliquaries within this church.

The one held her bones and the other her skull. On special occasions these relics would be placed upon the ornate mausoleum pedestal which can still be seen today within the left transept of this church. However, all veneration of her relics ceased in 1539 by decree of Philip of Hesse (d. 1567).

He had the relics removed and all Catholic services halted.

Elizabeth understood 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.

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.


Learn more about Saint Elizabeth
by reading a book or watching a video






Paprikás Csirke or Chicken Paprikash 
(served with potatoes or spaetzle)


  • 2 pounds Whole chicken legs, sperated

  • 1/2 tsp Salt

  • 1/4 tsp Ground black pepper

  • 1 TBSP unsalted butter

  • 1 c Onion, sliced thinly

  • Anaheim pepper, chopped

  • 1/4 c Paprika 

  • 1 cup Low-sodium chicken stock

  • 1/2 tsp Salt

  • 1 c Sour cream

  • 1 TBSP All-purpose flour


  1. Sprinkle the chicken evenly with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.

  2. Heat a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat until hot. Add the butter, then add the chicken in a single layer being careful not to overcrowd the pan. If they don't all fit in your pan, divide the chicken into two batches.

  3. Brown chicken undisturbed until golden brown on one side (5-7 minutes), and then flip them over and brown the other side. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.

  4. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and then add the onions and peppers. Cover with a lid and let the vegetables steam for 10 minutes. This speeds up the caramelization process.

  5. Remove the lid and saute until the onions are golden brown.

  6. Add the paprika and fry, stirring constantly until the paprika is very fragrant (about 30 seconds). Be careful as paprika will scorch easily, which will make it bitter.

  7. Add the chicken stock and salt and then return the chicken pieces back to the pot along with any accumulated juices.

  8. Bring to a boil, and then cover with a lid and turn down the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook the chicken until it is fall-off-the-bone tender (about 1 hour).

  9. Measure out the sour cream and flour, then whisk together until there are no lumps of flour.

  10. When the chicken is done, temper the sour cream by transferring some cooking liquid from the chicken a spoonful at a time to the cream mixture and stirring after each addition. You want to slowly raise the temperature of the sour cream until it is very warm. Once the sour cream is tempered, you can pour it all back into the pot and stir to combine. Do not let it boil once you've added the sour cream. The Paprikas is done when the sauce has thickened.


St. Elizabeth's Lebkuchen; Lebzelten; Life Cake; Lebkucken

These medieval style spiced cookies are made with a

larger percentage of ground almonds than flour.

"Elisen" is believed to be derived from the name

"Elizabeth," the patron saint of medieval bakers.


  • 1 cup sugar 

  • 5 large eggs

  • 2 cups ground hazelnuts 

  • 2 cups ground almonds 

  • 1/2 cup candied citrus peel chopped finely

  • 1/2 cup candied orange peel chopped finely

  • 3 tbsp gingerbread spice 

  • 1 tsp lemon zest


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs and sugar. Beat for about 15 minutes at medium speed until white and fluffy.

  2. Add the ground hazelnuts, ground almonds, finely chopped candied orange peel, finely chopped citrus peel, gingerbread spice and lemon zest. Whisk until combined then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the batter rest in the fridge overnight or for at least 10 hours.

  3. Preheat the oven to 320° F (160° C), line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper.

  4. Scoop the mixture with a spoon or an ice cream scoop onto the Oblaten and smooth down the top until the very edge of the wafer with a wet knife. The dough should be thicker in the center and thinner on the edges. Set them on the lined sheet.

  5. Bake for about 22 minutes, or until the Lebkuchen are set but still soft in the middle and have barely started to brown around the edges. Leave them on the tray to cool down completely.

  6. Once the Lebkuchen are cooled, place a wire rack over a baking sheet (to catch the drippings). Dip the Lebkuchen in the chocolate glaze and let the excess drip back into the bowl. Then place the Lebkuchen on the wire rack. Let them dry completely and store them in an airtight container.


Cinnamon Braid Bread - Estonian Kringle

Both roses and bread are her symbols, so as we celebrate her today and

recall her charity to the poor, what better way than with a rose shaped bread.

Easy recipe for rich and buttery Estonian kringle, a mouth-watering cinnamon braided bread.

Soft interior, crusty top, perfect for breakfast or holidays.The smell in the house while baking is divine.

Give this a try, you will love it.



  • 2 1/4 cups flour

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • 15 g fresh yeast (1 envelope active dry yeast)

  • 1/8 cup (30 g) melted butter

  • 1 egg yolk



  • 1/4 cup (50 g) softened butter

  • 4 or 5 tbsp sugar

  • 3 tsp cinnamon

  • 3 tsp grounded almonds, optional



1. In a medium bowl stir fresh yeast with sugar until it liquefies. Stir in the lukewarm milk and then add the egg yolk and melted butter.

2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour and salt. Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients and start kneading it until it pulls away from the edges of the bowl. Give the dough the shape of a ball. Sprinkle oil onto a clean bowl, place the dough and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest for about 1 hour at room temperature (warm space) until doubled in size. I usually put the bowl near my oven hob so the warmth get to it. It helps the dough rise very well.

3. While the dough rises, whisk together the butter with sugar and cinnamon for the filling. Set aside.

4. Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

5. On a floured surface, using a rolling pin roll the dough to a rectangle of about 18x12 inches. (I've made it smaller but it would have been better to make it of 18 inch).

6. Spoon the cinnamon filling over top (keep about 1 tbsp of the filling for the end), spreading evenly, leaving a clean 1/2-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle the almonds over the cinnamon filling. Roll up the dough and using a sharp knife, cut the log in half lengthwise leaving one edge uncut for about 1/2 inch.

7. Start braiding the two pieces, trying to keep the open layers exposed so the cut ends remain on top (this is what makes this bread effect).Pinch the ends together and form a wreath.

8. Transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the wreath with the left cinnamon filling.

9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. For the last 10 minutes you can reduce the oven temperature to 180 C (350 F).

10. Serve it warm and enjoy.

Additional idea: Make two, one to keep and one to share, in the spirit of Christian charity of St. Elizabeth. 




A fun family craft would be to make a gingerbread house!
We don't normally make ours until after Thanksgiving but gingerbread is fun anytime!

Saint E.jpg
St elizabeth.jpg
bottom of page