The Life and Afterlife of St. Elizabeth of Hungary: by Kenneth Baxter Wolf

By Kenneth Baxter Wolf

Within the existence and Afterlife of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Kenneth Baxter Wolf bargains a research and translation of the testimony given via witnesses on the canonization hearings of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, who died in 1231 in Marburg, Germany, on the age of twenty-four. the majority of the depositions have been taken from those who claimed to were healed by means of the intercession of this new saint. Their descriptions in their maladies and their efforts to safe reduction at Elizabeth's shrine in Marburg give you the sleek reader not just with a close, inside of examine the genesis of a saint's cult, but in addition with an strangely transparent window into the lives and hopes of normal humans dwelling in Germany on the time. past testimony approximately her miracles, the papal commissioners additionally heard witnesses communicate to the holiness of Elizabeth's existence. 4 girls who knew Elizabeth from her arrival on the Wartburg fort in Thuringia because the destiny spouse of Landgrave Ludwig IV to her demise as a caregiver within the health center that she based in Marburg offer brilliant vignettes approximately her existence. including the testimony of Elizabeth's confessor and mum or dad, Conrad of Marburg, they seize in phrases the Hungarian princess's tireless, artistic efforts to "cure" her lifetime of privilege with its contrary: a lifetime of voluntary deprivation and direct provider to the bad and unwell.

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149 The determination on the part of the commission to get at this type of information is what allows us to use the depositions to reconstruct the mentality of the witnesses as well as that of their interrogators vis-à-vis the curious world of saintly intercession. The very language used to describe the cures helps us appreciate how people at the time conceived of their miraculous relief from illnesses and disabilities. The verbs sanare and curare occur with some frequency in reference to general healing, as do illuminare in cases of restored sight and suscitare or vivificare in conjunction with people being brought back to life.

T HE A F T ER L IFE OF ST. 59 Hadewig of Allertshausen in the diocese of Mainz said under oath that her daughter Berta, now fifteen years of age, had been blind for the last two and a half years but now could see again. Asked how her daughter had incurred this condition, she responded that one night her daughter went to bed fully able to see but when she got up the next morning she could not see a thing. Asked about the condition of her eyes, she said that they were covered with a red membrane and many tiny veins.

Variations in orthography complicate the picture. 143 Although there is no way to confirm these identifications, the witness lists can at least give us a sense as to the number of people from each village or town who took the trouble to come before the two commissions. In places like Grünberg and Biedenkopf that were the settings for multiple miracles, this number could be rather large: twenty-four and thirty-four, respectively. 144 He tried to alleviate the problem by accepting depositions that had been collected by local priests and delivered to the commissioners in Marburg.

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