The Life and Afterlife of St. Elizabeth of Hungary

The Life and Afterlife of St. Elizabeth of Hungary : Testimony from her Canonization Hearings

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In The Life and Afterlife of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Kenneth Baxter Wolf offers a study and translation of the testimony given by witnesses at the canonization hearings of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, who died in 1231 in Marburg, Germany, at the age of twenty-four. The bulk of the depositions were taken from people who claimed to have been healed by the intercession of this new saint. Their descriptions of their maladies and their efforts to secure relief at
Elizabeth's shrine in Marburg provide the modern reader not only with a detailed, inside look at the genesis of a saint's cult, but also with an unusually clear window into the lives and hopes of ordinary people living in Germany at the time.

Beyond testimony about her miracles, the papal commissioners also heard witnesses speak to the holiness of Elizabeth's life. Four women who knew Elizabeth from her arrival at the Wartburg castle in Thuringia as the future wife of Landgrave Ludwig IV to her death as a caregiver in the hospital that she founded in Marburg provide vivid vignettes about her life. Together with the testimony of Elizabeth's confessor and guardian, Conrad of Marburg, they capture in words the Hungarian princess's
tireless, creative efforts to "cure" her life of privilege with its opposite: a life of voluntary deprivation and direct service to the poor and sick.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 248 pages
  • 162 x 241 x 22mm | 470g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0199732582
  • 9780199732586
  • 2,436,419

Table of contents

Preliminaries: ; On the Translations ; Acknowledgments ; Critical Editions of Translated Texts ; Introduction ; Essays: ; The Afterlife of St. Elizabeth ; The Life of St. Elizabeth ; Sources: ; The Miracle List (August 1232) ; Conrad of Marburg, Summa vitae (1232) ; Miracle Depositions from the First Papal Commission (1233) ; Miracle Depositions from the Second Papal Commission (1235) ; Dicta quatuor ancillarum (1235) ; Select Bibliography ; Index
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Review quote

St. Elizabeth of Thuringia provides us with a penetrating insight into the anguish and joy of medieval people. Kenneth Baxter Wolf's commentary and lucid translation of the canonization records of St. Elizabeth are priceless relics, providing an invaluable catalogue of social information about the penitents, their age, gender, occupation, descriptions of their illness, their cure, and their responses to the cure. This volume advances the study of hagiography and the
popular imagination and deepens our understanding of the construction of medieval sainthood. * Thomas J. Heffernan, Kenneth Curry Professor of Humanities, University of Tennessee *
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About Kenneth Baxter Wolf

Associate Dean and John Sutton Miner Professor of History, Pomona College
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