Today's feast day belongs to Elizabeth of Hungary and her husband, Louis of Thuringia. They were married in 1221, had three children and were separated by death when Louis died of the plague in 1227. Elizabeth survived him only by four short years.
Both of royal blood (Louis was heir to the Central European duchy of Thuringia and Elizabeth was the daughter of the king of Hungary) they were "bethrothed" in 1211. Louis was eleven and Elizabeth was four. They were raised together as children.
An insight into their marriage is described by Montalembert, a nineteenth-century biographer:
The Duchess, so as not to oversleep nor to disturb her husband, ordered Ysentrude, her most trusted maid, to awaken her by grabbing her foot. Once, however, Ysentrude accidentally shook the Duke's foot. Louis awoke suddenly, but guessing Ysentrude's mistake, he lay down again without showing the least sign of impatience. "He saw," said Theodoric, Elizabeth's first biographer, "that she loved God with her whole heart, and that thought comforted him. And because Elizabeth trusted her husband's wisdom, she did not conceal from him any of her penitential exercises. She knew well that he would never interfere between her and her Savior."
To their frequent expression of their mutual tenderness both added gentle exhortations to advance together in the way of perfection. This mutual desire for holiness strengthened them and preserved them in the service of God. It taught the couple to draw even from the ardent affection which united them, the charm and feeling of the Supreme Love.
In my own marriage, I often catch myself muttering to myself about something my husband did. To stop that, I often wonder what he's muttering to himself about me.
Just recently I discovered that my husband prays his rosary every morning. I pray mine at night. Though we are far from sainthood, God continues to be in our marriage on a daily basis, through prayer and our music ministry.
The story of Elizabeth and Louis' marriage brought a smile to my face. It is a far cry from the celebrity-sham marriages that splash our headlines and airwaves today.
Please take a moment to pray for all married couples. Especially this one: