Saint Elizabeth of Hungary is the first Saint I remember learning about as a kid. She appeared in a picture book I owned, and I can still remember the illustration: a beautiful princess with loaves of bread under one arm and red and white roses under the other. I expect she was, and still is, a popular Saint amongst little girls. Her beauty, kindness, and love for the poor (not to mention the fact that she was a princess!) make her life story easily rival the fairy tales I grew up loving.
When I saw that both Saint Elizabeth’s and Saint Margaret of Scotland’s feast days fell in November, I was inspired to write a post about princess Saints for the Blessed Is She blog. I’ll add the link here once it’s live on the 20th! While I researched Saint Elizabeth for that post, though, I also found myself dreaming up a rose-filled picnic for two and knew she had to be my November For This Feast Saint. Take any of these ideas into your own celebration for her feast day on November 17!
For this feast…
Bread: Saint Elizabeth is almost always pictured carrying loaves of bread, since she was well-known for distributing hundreds of loaves to the poor daily. As such, she is the patron Saint of bakers! Put those quarantine baking skills to good use by baking a few loaves, or pick some up from a local bakery. Alongside that, I’d be remiss not to encourage you to feed the hungry in your community on this day. For local friends, Yellow Dog Bread Company runs a “Give a Loaf” program in partnership with Raleigh Rescue Mission and Southeast Raleigh Table this month to provide 1,200 Thanksgiving meals to those in need–find the details here.
Roses: Multiple miracles took place during Saint Elizabeth’s life, and I find it fascinating that at least two directly involved her husband, Ludwig. The miracle of the roses is the best known. Upon returning from a hunt one day, Ludwig approached his wife while she was distributing bread. Members of his hunting party suspected she was stealing from the palace to give to the poor, so he asked her to reveal what was under her cloak. As she opened it, red and white roses poured out of it. Naturally, roses are a perfect fit for any Saint Elizabeth celebration–I found these garden roses at Trader Joe’s. P.S. A note to gardeners: there is a Saint Elizabeth of Hungary heirloom rose that is lovely!
Paul D rosé: This might be a bit of a stretch, but let’s just go with it :) One of my favorite sparkling rosés is the one pictured, Frizzante Rosé by Paul D, an Austrian winemaker. Between the rose on the bottle and its origins in the general region where St. Elizabeth was from, I thought it would be a delightful fit in this shoot! Any rosé would do the trick, but if you can track down this one at a local specialty wine store (I love Wine Authorities in Raleigh), it’s well worth it.
Picnic date: Since Saint Elizabeth was a happily married Saint, I love the idea of celebrating her feast day with a little date night. I set up a picnic for two with a rose-covered tablecloth as a picnic blanket and a board of European cheeses. This market bag is an exquisitely handmade piece from Ever Thrift, a Catholic small business I love!