The Meaning of Elizabeth

On Sunday, August 15th, 1993, at the age of 7, I was baptized with the name Elizabeth. It was the summer before 2nd grade; this was a requirement to be able to receive holy communion. I remember going into it willingly and being excited that I get to pick another name. A lot of drive to be in the religion had some ounce of my consent when I was a child. However, due to financial constraints, I had to leave Catholic school before confirmation. On October of 2015, I joined Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) at my local parish and went through six months of bonding with the most awesome people. A lot of them are still my friends. On April 2nd, 2016, I was confirmed into the Catholic church. My journey is not over. I take August 15th seriously just as I do April 2nd. I came to wonder who is the woman I chose as my baptismal name.

St. Elizabeth, Not of Sweet Valley California

As the header said, I was a fan of the classic teenage series Sweet Valley High, though, at the time, I was reading the children counterpart, Sweet Valley Kids. My intentions of picking Elizabeth was for that character to stick with me forever. Then when I grew up, the book series ended and became out of print. I have this name of this character that nobody remembered. I could talk to a student at Drexel, and they can quote Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings more than Sweet Valley High. I needed to know if this Elizabeth is a saint or if I pulled a name out of a hat. It turns out I did both. Upon research, I found so many St. Elizabeth’s one of them related to our Blessed Virgin Mary. However, the one I connected to was St Elizabeth of Hungary who is that patron saint of bakers, countesses, death of children, falsely accused, the homeless, nursing services, tertiaries, widows, and young brides.

St Elizabeth of Hungary and How She Changed My View of the Homeless

You meet a lot of homeless people in Philadelphia. I mistakenly was taught that they were all drug dealers or alcoholics. I honestly didn’t know how to approach them except to give them money or food. My perspective changed this past Sunday. I went to church, and the doors were closed. There was a homeless man who approached me. Probably the most human experience I had with a homeless man. He was tired of walking in nearly 100 degrees of heat and needed help. He wanted to seek help from the church and not homeless shelters ridden with drugs. I didn’t know the first thing to do. Luckily, my friend John who runs the local Christ In the City was able to help him. We talked about our experiences mental hospital how he was involuntarily sent in, and I knew people who were forced to seek care in though my experiences of being voluntarily sent in. John called Project HOME, and he was able to find housing and hope that he will get out of his situation. I want to help the homeless now, and I want to pray to St Elizabeth of Hungary. If you do too, I linked Christ in the City and Project HOME, or if you’re not from Philadelphia, I can find resources. I will leave with the whole version of the responsorial psalm that I had to do while lecturing due to the heat since it most relates to the homeless: Psalm 40


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