November 17 is the feast day of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, an early member of the Secular Franciscan Order of which she is revered as one of its patron saints.
In honor of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, we are pleased to share a book in our Archives’ special collections. Published in 1878, Sainte Élisabeth de Hongrie is a biography of the saint written by Count Charles Forbes René de Montalembert. The book includes beautiful reproductions of prints and artwork depicting scenes from the life of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. And it also includes several original works by artist Olivier Merson specially drawn for the book:
“St. Elizabeth, very young, takes pleasure in looking at the miniatures of the church books. Whenever she could, she entered the chapel of the castle, and there, sitting at the foot of the altar, she would open before her a great Psalter, though she could not yet read; then, folding her little hands and raising her eyes to heaven, she indulged herself with an early meditation and prayer” (Saint Élisabeth de Hongrie, plate XXX).
“St. Elizabeth, at the age of nine, seeks above all the society of the servants […] and attracts the derision and insults of the members of the ducal court” (Sainte Élisabeth de Hongrie, plate XXXI).