This month we celebrate the feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. This beautiful Saint—who was a real life princess—married at fourteen, was widowed at twenty, and died at the age of twenty-four. During her short time on earth she gave herself completely to Christ through serving the poor. She chose a life of penance instead of luxury and was often seen with her kingdom’s poor, bringing bread to them each day.
St. Elizabeth of Hungary is a special Saint to me, and one that I thank often. She, along with four other men and women in Heaven, gave me a gift. A gift I prayed for each day for many years.
One of the greatest blessings my mother bestowed upon me was a love for the Saints. When I was twelve years old, she handed me a prayer card of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. I took one look at the handsome man on the prayer card and told my mom, “I’m really happy we are Catholic.” She smiled and told me to recite the words on the back of the prayer card. As I prayed that prayer each day, I felt drawn to learn more about him.
An Interesting Connection…
One of the things that struck me when I read about Blessed Pier Giorgio’s life was the age of his death. He died at the age of twenty-four. How incredible that a man so young was declared a Blessed in Heaven!
I remembered another beloved Saint, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, died at that age too.
I began researching “Saints Who Died At Twenty-Four” and discovered a few more: Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, and Saint Kateri Tekakwitha.
I began praying to these five men and women in Heaven each day. I was so inspired by their lives, that they were able to live out the Gospel in a profound way in such a short time. Their lives are witness to the reality of God’s grace–that God knows no time, that grace is found in the present moment, and that faith is pure gift.
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My Request in My Twenty-Fourth Year
I felt called to pray for a gift from these five Saints during my twenty-fourth year. Every day, throughout each day, I asked for their intercession, for my gift. I told them that they received the best gift at the age of twenty-four: to enter into Christ’s kingdom. I asked that they might send me a gift just like they obtained during their twenty-fourth year. I prayed this prayer daily for years.
As my twenty-fourth birthday approached, I decided to start a young adult group in Buffalo, New York. I had just moved to Buffalo and was attending nursing school. I didn’t know many people and I desired real community and authentic friendships with my entire heart. So I decided to create a young adult group in honor of Blessed Pier Giorgio. Our first meeting was held just as I turned twenty-four.
The Best Gift
I met the most beautiful people in that group, some of whom are my dearest friends. And I received my gift. I met Mike, my husband, my gift, in the group. I know it is through the intercession of these five Saints that I met the man I was going to marry, that I was led to my vocation.
During our engagement, I collected images of these five Saints. I framed them and placed them on a small table beside the alter during our wedding Mass. The priest blessed them after we said our vows and they now hang in our home. These images are a powerful reminder of our wedding day, the vows Mike and I promised to one another, and the fidelity of the Saints towards us!
Pray for Your Gift
My sisters, pray for your gift. Ask these Saints–so active in Heaven–for your gift. Whether you are eighteen, twenty-four, forty-four, or one hundred and four, ask these Saints for a gift. They are ready to send us Christ’s love, guidance, and grace.
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
Patroness of bakers, countesses, death of children, falsely accused, the homeless, nursing services, tertiaries, widows, and young brides.
Feast Day: November 17
St. Elizabeth of Hungary, I often turn away from Christ and desire a life of luxury, power, and greatness. Help me to be humble like you and desire instead to serve Christ in the poorest of the poor. Help me to always choose Heavenly poverty instead of earthly riches. Please send me my gift, the gift God has specifically ordained for me from the beginning of time.
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Patroness of florists, missionaries, pilots, and priests.
Feast Day: October 1
Sweet Little Thérèse, Doctor of Merciful Love, fill my heart with trust! Help me to imitate you! I pray that I may become so little that Christ may pick me up, that He may lift me safely into His arms and hold me close. Teach me to fall in love with Christ’s Merciful Heart. Please send me a rose, send me my gift, the gift God has specifically ordained for me from the beginning of time.
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
Patron of students, mountaineers, and World Youth Day.
Feast Day: July 4
I want a life full of adventure, a life full of love. I want to flourish. I know Christ is the answer. #BISblog // Click To Tweet
Blessed Pier Giorgio, I desire to live a life fully for Christ. I want a life full of adventure, a life full of love. I want to flourish. I know Christ is the answer. Help me find Him in the beauty – the beauty of a hike, the beauty of the Eucharist, the beauty of the Rosary, the beauty of a suffering heart. That is where you found Christ, and I ask you to lead me to the beauties here on earth so that I may fully and joyfully gaze upon His beauty in Heaven. Please send me my gift, the gift God has specifically ordained for me from the beginning of time.
Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows
Patron of clergy, students, and the youth.
Feast Day: February 27
St. Gabriel, you had a strong devotion to Mother Mary. Please lead me closer to her. You suffered greatly during your last days–please teach me to suffer gracefully just like Mother Mary, who suffered so courageously at the foot of her Son’s Cross. Please send me my gift, the gift God has specifically ordained for me from the beginning of time.
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha
Patroness of orphans, ecology, and the environment.
Feast Day: July 14
St. Kateri, I desire a clean and pure heart. Please help me to always give my best time to Christ. You, who walked miles to receive the Eucharist, knew the secret that I so often forget–that Christ is my great Love, that He is my heart’s desire, that He is my joy. Please send me my gift, the gift God has specifically ordained for me from the beginning of time.
What is the gift you will ask for, sisters?St. Elizabeth of Hungary and Four Other Saints Who Died at 24 #BISblog // Click To Tweet