Saint of the Day ~ July 18

SAINT ELIZABETH OF SCHÖNAU (1126-1164), abbess and mystic – Patron saint of those who suffer from temptations

Today, the Church honors Saint Elizabeth of Schönau, a Benedictine nun, who was graced with the charisms of mystical visions and prophecy. And because of the great depth of her holy love for God, she was also given the gift of enduring assaults from demonic forces as a suffering soul.

Elizabeth was born in Bonn, Germany, in the year 1126, and, from the age of twelve, she was raised and educated in a Benedictine monastery at Schönau. Elizabeth came to see the monastery as home, and she took the Benedictine habit and professed her vows as a Religious sister in 1147.

Given to works of piety from her youth and much afflicted with bodily and mental suffering, she was a zealous observer of the Rule of Saint Benedict and of the regulations imposed upon her in the convent where she lived. Sister Elizabeth was also devoted to practices of personal mortification – all which led her to being favored, from the year 1152, with ecstasies and visions generally occurring only on Sundays and Holy Days.

She was also gifted with the charism of prophecy, and suffered the assaults of demonic forces which loathed her for the life of sanctity and obedience which she embraced. She was advised by her abbot to relate everything she experienced to her brother Egbert, who was a priest at a parish church in Bonn, Germany.

At first, she hesitated fearing she would be deceived or be looked upon as a fraud; but she obeyed his instructions. With the help of her brother, Elizabeth wrote three volumes describing all that she heard, saw and experienced on wax tablets. Father Egbert later arranged the material which his sister provided, and then published everything under his sister’s name after her death.

Sister Elizabeth served as abbess at the monastery in Schönau from 1157 until she received her eternal reward on July 18, 1164. She was never formally canonized but, in 1584, her name was entered in the Roman Martyrology of saints and has remained there due to great popular devotion.

We commemorate her feastday on July 18.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, medievalreligiouslife.wordpress.com and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for Holy Women ~ religious)

“Lord God, You kept Saint Elizabeth of Schönau faithful to Christ’s pattern of poverty and humility. May her prayers help us to live in fidelity to our calling and bring us to the perfection You have shown us in Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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Editorial Note: The spirituality and mystical experiences of Saint Elizabeth can be found in “Elisabeth of Schonau: The Complete Works” available at www.amazon.com.

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