Martin was born at Savaria, Pannonia (now Szombathely, Hungary). His father was a senior officer (tribune) in the Imperial Horse Guard, a unit of the Roman army, and was later stationed at Ticinum, Cisalpine Gaul (now Pavia, Italy), where Martin grew up.
At the age of ten, he went to the Christian church against the wishes of his parents and became a candidate for baptism. At this time, Christianity had been made a legal religion (in 312), but it was by no means the dominant religion everywhere in the Roman Empire. When Martin was fifteen, as the son of a veteran officer, he was required to join a cavalry ala himself and thus, around 334, was stationed at Ambianensium civitas or Samarobriva in Gaul (now Amiens, France).
While Martin was still a soldier at Samarobriva (modern Amiens) he experienced the vision that became the most-repeated story about his life. He was at the gates of the city of Samarobriva with his soldiers when he met a scantily dressed beggar. He cut his own military cloak in half and shared it with the beggar. That night Martin dreamed of Jesus wearing the half-cloak he had given away. He heard Jesus say to the angels: "Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptised; he has clad me.„
The dream confirmed Martin in his piety and he was baptized at the age of 18. He served in the military for another two years until, just before a battle with the Gauls at Borbetomagus (now Worms, Germany) in 336, Martin determined that his faith prohibited him from fighting, saying, "I am a soldier of Christ. I cannot fight."
He was King of Hungary from 1077 until his death, "who greatly expanded the boundaries of the kingdom and consolidated it internally; no other Hungarian king was so generally beloved by the people". When his brother died, his followers proclaimed Ladislaus king according to the Hungarian tradition that gave precedence to the eldest member of the deceased king's sons. Following a long period of civil wars, he strengthened the royal power in his kingdom by introducing severe legislation. After his canonisation, Ladislaus became the model of the chivalrous king in Hungary. King Ladislaus took an active part in the reorganization of the Roman Catholic Church in Hungary . No other Hungarian king was held in such high esteem. The whole nation mourned for him for three years, and regarded him as a saint long before his canonization . A whole cycle of legends is associated with his name. He was canonized on June 27, 1192.
One day the troops of King Ladislaus chased the Kuns, but the leader of the Kuns had a great idea. They started to scatter the looted gold and silver coins. The leader was right because the Magyars stopped chasing them and started to pick up the money.
Leave the money on the ground! – shouted the king. – You can pick them up later. Follow me! Chase the Kuns.
But the Magyars didn’t hear their king’s words. They thought of only the money nothing else. The ground was full of brightly shining gold and silver. The Kuns stopped, turned back and tried to attack the Magyars. Ladislaus looked up to the sky praying to God. God listened to the king and miraculously the gold and silver coins turned into stones. This was the luck of the Magyars. They understood God’s warning. They mounted their horses and drove the Kuns out the country.
She was a princessof the Kingdom of Hungary and a Catholic saint. She was the daughter of Andrew II of Hungary and Gertrude of Merania, and at age four was brought to the court of the rulers of Thuringia in central Germany, to become a future bride who would reinforce political alliances between the families. Elisabeth was married at the age of 14, widowed at 20, relinquished her wealth to the poor, built hospitals, and became a symbol of Christian charity in Germany and elsewhere after her death at the age of 24.
In 1221, at the age of fourteen, Elisabeth married Ludwig; the same year he was crowned Ludwig IV, and the marriage appears to have been happy. In 1223, Franciscan monks arrived, and the teenage Elisabeth not only learned about the ideals of Francis of Assisi, but started to live them. Ludwig was not upset by his wife's charitable efforts, believing that the distribution of his wealth to the poor would bring eternal reward .
Elisabeth's life changed irrevocably on September 11, 1227 when Ludwig, en route to join the Sixth Crusade, died of the plague in Otranto, Italy.
Elizabeth became affiliated with the Third Order of St. Francis, a lay Franciscan group, probably without becoming an official Tertiary, and built a hospital at Marburg for the poor and the sick with the money from her dowry. In 1231, she died in Marburg at the age of twenty-four.
Very soon after the death of Elisabeth, miracles were reported that happened at her grave in the church of the hospital, especially miracles of healing.
The first legend
Elisabeth is perhaps best known for the legend which says that whilst she was taking bread to the poor in secret, her husband asked her what was in the pouch; Elisabeth opened it and the bread turned into roses. How realistic this story is remains doubtful, since her husband, according to the vitae , was never troubled by her charity and in fact supported it. In some versions of the story, it is her brother in law, Heinrich Raspe, who questions her. The miracle, the earliest example of what came to be called the Miracle of the roses, is commemorated in many images of the saints—prayer cards, statues, paintings. One famous statue is in Budapest, in front of the neo-Gothic church dedicated to her at Roses' Square ( Rózsák tere ).
Another popular story about St. Elisabeth, also found in Dietrich of Apolda's Vita , relates how she laid a leprous man in the bed she shared with her husband. When Ludwig discovered what she had done, he is said to have snatched off the bedclothes in great indignation, but at that instant "Almighty God opened the eyes of his soul, and instead of a leprous man he saw the figure of Christ crucified stretched upon the bed."