High Mass for St. Elizabeth of Portugal (July 8, 12:30pm)

Laudetur Iesus Christus! Tomorrow Friday July 8 is the feast of the great Portuguese Queen, St. Elizabeth (or St. Isabel) who was born in the latter part of the 13th century at the height of Christendom, and was named after her relative, St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

St. Ann will be offering a 7am Low Mass, while St. Mark parish in Huntersville will be offering a special High Mass at 12:30pm.

To learn more about this great saint we share an excerpt from Dom Prosper Gueranger’s The Liturgical Year:

Elizabeth, of the royal race of Aragon, was born in the year of our Lord 1271. As a presage of her future sanctity, her parents, contrary to custom, passing over the mother and grandmother, gave her in Baptism the name of her maternal great-aunt, St. Elizabeth, Duchess of Thuringia. No sooner was she born, than it became evident what a blessed peacemaker she was to be between kings and kingdoms; for the joy of her birth put a happy period to the miserable quarrels of her father and grandfather. As she grew up, her father, admiring the natural abilities of his daughter, was wont to assert that Elizabeth would far outstrip in virtue all the women descended of the royal blood of Aragon; and so great was his veneration for her heavenly manner of life, her contempt of worldly ornaments, her abhorrence of pleasure, her assiduity in fasting, prayer, and works of charity, that he attributed to her merits alone the prosperity of his kingdom and estate. On account of her widespread reputation, her hand was sought by many princes; at length she was, with all the ceremonies of holy Church, united in matrimony with Dionysius, king of Portugal.

In the married state she gave herself up to the exercise of virtue and the education of her children, striving, indeed, to please her husband, but still more to please God. For nearly half the year she lived on bread and water alone; and, on one occasion when, in an illness, she had refused to take the wine prescribed by the physician, her water was miraculously changed into wine. She instantaneously cured a poor woman of a loathsome ulcer by kissing it. In the depth of winter she changed the money she was going to distribute to the poor into roses, in order to conceal it from the king. She gave sight to a virgin born blind, healed many other persons of grievous distempers by the mere sign of the Cross, and performed a great number of other miracles of a like nature. She built and amply endowed monasteries, hospitals, and churches. She was admirable for her zeal in composing the differences of kings, and unwearied in her efforts to alleviate the public and private miseries of mankind.

Her date of death was July 4, but the Church established her feast day on July 8 so not to interfere with the ancient octave of Ss. Peter & Paul which runs from June 29 – July 6. (This is also why St. Thomas More’s feast day is July 9  – and not his date of death on July 6 – one day after St. Elizabeth). Her body is incorrupt, and can be seen at the newer St. Clare Monastery in Coimbra, Portugal (the same city as Sister Lucia’s convent).