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Feast of St. Elizabeth of Portugal

July 4 @ 12:00 am - 11:59 pm

Part of the Spanish Royalty, Elizabeth was married to the King of Portugal, Denis, at age 12. Very devoted, Elizabeth remained a faithful wife in spite of King Denis’s infidelity. Rather than succumbing to his ways (which many under his rule did), St. Elizabeth of Portugal spent her time at daily Mass and aiding the poor and sick.

St. Elizabeth is credited with the conversion of her husband as well as preventing two civil wars. Jealous of his position, one of the King and Queen’s pages told the King that Elizabeth and their first page were engaging in an adulterous relationship. Beyond angry, the King demanded that the page he believed to have relations with his wife be thrown into a furnace. When summoned, the accused page obediently went, ignorant of his death sentence. On his way, he stopped for Mass as he did everyday. During this time, the lying page went to the furnace to see if the other had been killed. However, following the King’s orders to kill the first page that arrived, the lying page was tossed into the flames and killed. The King eventually learned of this and, realizing God had saved the good page, justly punished the lying one, and proven Elizabeth’s innocence, converted to a better life. He apologized to Queen Elizabeth in front of everyone and had a great respect for her until his holy death.

The prevention of the first imitate civil war occurred in 1323. Feeling betrayed and wronged by his father as a result of his doting treatment of one of his illegitimate sons, the King and Queen’s son, Alfonso, gathered an army. In response, the King did the same. As the two armies were about to begin a war, St. Elizabeth stood between the two opposing sides and insisted the father and son make peace.

Then, in 1336, the last year of her life, St. Elizabeth once again ceased an impending civil war. This time, the argument was between her son Alfonso and his stepson over the unjust treatment of Alfonso’s daughter by the man.

Following in the footsteps of her namesake and great-aunt, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Elizabeth of Portugal joined the tertiary order of the Franciscans after her husband’s death. She lived out her final 11 years in one of the convents she has established years before.

Prayer to St. Elizabeth of Portugal

Saint Elizabeth of Portugal, help us to see all wealth, of time or money, as a gift and an opportunity to serve the Lord and our fellow man. You promoted peace in your realm and in your family, in the spirit of Saint Francis. Help us to do the same.


July 4
12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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