St. Elizabeth was born in 1207, the daughter of the King of Hungary and the niece of St. Hedwige. At the request of Cardinal Ugolini, the future Pope Gregory IX, St. Francis of Assisi sent St. Elizabeth his mantle as a symbol of their union of spirit. In wearing it when she prayed, St. Elizabeth had the confidence that she would attract the same graces of St. Francis.
Similarly, when Rebecca of the Old Testament, clothed Jacob in the skins of Esau, Jacob received the privileges that normally would have been given to the first born son, Esau. Also in the Old Testament, God gave Eliseus the special privileges of Elias when he put on the Elias’ mantle.
In an infinitely higher example, Our Lord Jesus Christ took on human nature, suffered and died for our sins. His Blood covers us, as did the mantle of Elias covered Eliseus and the mantle of St. Francis covered Saint Elizabeth. Covering ourselves with Our Lord’s Red Mantle, we can go before God in our sorry condition, Who is pleased to receive us, forgive us and bless us with graces for repentance and amendment.
Finally, from the life of Saint Elizabeth, we learn this valuable lesson: the Blessed Mother covers us with her mantle as a good mother protects her children.
Our Lord then sees her merits and is pleased. In light of this symbolism, we can know with certainty and trust that we can approach God and say, "Lord, see not my sins and weaknesses but instead the merits of your Son and of Our Lady."
The Church of Saint Elizabeth in Marburg, Germany.