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Saint of the Day for 4 July: St. Elizabeth of Portugal

St. Elizabeth of Portugal: Life, Miracles and Devotion to the Holy Queen

Name

St. Elizabeth of Portugal

Title

Queen

Baptismal name

Isabella of Aragon

Birth

1271, Aragon, Spain

Death

1336, Estremoz, Portugal

Recurrence

4 July

Martyrology

2004 edition

Canonization

June 24, 1625, Rome , Pope Urban VIII

 

Prayer

O Saint Elizabeth, model of every sublime virtue, by your example you showed the world how much charity, faith and humility can in a Christian soul. With an invincible faith you were a true disciple of the Gospel you put all your satisfaction in speaking to the poor, serving them, wiping their tears and helping them. Your humility was so great that you were willing to undergo a life of privations and penances while joyfully embracing the cross of the Divine Redeemer. O Saint Elizabeth, be the heavenly friend of our souls, help us to love Jesus as you loved Him, protect us in our hardship, and, obtaining for us the forgiveness of our faults, open for us the way to the Kingdom of Heaven where you sit blessed. So be it.

Roman Martyrology

In Estremoz, Portugal, the birthplace of St. Elizabeth Dowager, Queen of the Portuguese, who, illustrious for virtue and miracles, was numbered among the saints by the Supreme Pontiff Urban the Eighth.

 

The Saint and Mission

St. Elizabeth of Portugal, known for her compassion and dedication to peace, is an example of how holiness can manifest through leadership and service. Born into a royal family and married to King Dionysius of Portugal, Elizabeth used her position to promote justice, charity and reconciliation. Her mission was characterized by a deep commitment to the poor and marginalized, to whom she offered assistance and support. Elizabeth founded hospitals, orphanages and other charitable institutions, dedicating her resources to caring for the needy. Her generosity was known throughout the kingdom, and she often distributed food and money directly to the poor. Her charity was not only material, but also spiritual, as she always tried to bring comfort and hope to anyone in difficulty. A central aspect of Elizabeth’s mission was her capacity for mediation and pacification. In an era marked by political and family conflict, she intervened repeatedly to promote peace and reconciliation. Her actions to pacify the fights between her husband and her son are famous, demonstrating incredible wisdom and diplomacy. After the king’s death, Elizabeth entered a Poor Clare convent, continuing her life of prayer and service. Her holiness was recognized during her lifetime and after her death, leaving a legacy of love, peace and charity. Saint Elizabeth of Portugal teaches us that the Christian mission can be lived fully through concrete acts of charity and through the promotion of peace, even in the most difficult situations.

The Saint and Mercy

Saint Elizabeth of Portugal is a shining example of mercy lived through concrete acts of love and compassion. Her life was permeated by a profound sense of charity, which manifested itself in her care of the poor, the sick and the marginalized. As queen, Elizabeth did not simply rule with justice, but she personally dedicated herself to serving those in need, distributing food, clothing and money. Elizabeth’s mercy also extended to her family and her court, where she often acted as a peacemaker in situations of conflict. Her ability to forgive and seek reconciliation between warring parties showed a deep understanding of the value of forgiveness and peace. She intervened in family disputes with extraordinary wisdom and patience, always seeking to promote harmony. Even after her husband’s death, Elizabeth continued to live a life of service and prayer by entering a Poor Clare convent. Her choice to dedicate the rest of her life to prayer and charity is a reflection of her inexhaustible mercy. In the convent, she continued to be a beacon of hope and help for anyone in need, demonstrating that mercy has no limits or boundaries. The life of Saint Elizabeth of Portugal teaches us that true mercy goes beyond words, transforming into actions that alleviate the suffering of others and promote peace. Her legacy inspires us to live with compassion and generosity, always seeking to be instruments of love and reconciliation in the world.

Hagiography

She was born the year 1271 to Peter III king of Aragon and Constance daughter of Manfred king of Sicily. She was given the name Elizabeth in memory of St. Elizabeth Queen of Hungary, her great-aunt. At the age of eight she began to recite the Divine Office and did so all her life. As a princess she had every opportunity to follow fashion, but she did not want to do so, depriving herself even of lawful games and pleasures. Contracted marriage to Dionysius king of Portugal, she did not neglect pious exercises and…

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