SAINT ELIZABETH OF THE TRINITY (1880-1906), religious – Patron saint of people who are sick and suffering from bodily ills, and those who lose parents
Today, the Church honors Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, a faithful adorer of the Most Blessed Trinity, even in the midst of an interior spiritual darkness and excruciating illness.
Elizabeth Catez was born in a military camp in the diocese of Bourges, France in 1880. She was the daughter of Captain Joseph Catez and his wife Marie. Her father died when she was only seven, leaving her mother to raise both Elizabeth and her sister, Marguerite.
Elizabeth was a very lively girl and a gifted pianist, but was very stubborn and experienced fits of rage. Nonetheless, she had a great love for God and an early attraction to a life of prayer and spiritual reflection. She visited the sick and taught catechism to children.
Against her mother’s wishes, Elizabeth entered a monastery of Discalced (barefoot) Carmelites in the city of Dijon in eastern France in 1901 at the age of twenty-one. Though noted for great spiritual growth, she was also plagued with periods of powerful darkness which led her spiritual director to doubt her vocation.
Nevertheless, she completed her novitiate and took her final vows in 1903. Her spiritual life was a “praise of glory” in both spirit and truth of the Most Blessed Trinity. In the mystery of the Divine indwelling of the Trinity, Sister Elizabeth found her “Heaven on Earth” through faith in God, who dwells in the soul of one who loves Him.
Only three years later, at the age of twenty-six and suffering from Addison’s disease, which in the early 20th century had no treatment, and of which the side effects are both painful and exhausting, Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity died on November 9, 1906 in Dijon. Her last words were, “I am going to Light, to Love, to Life!”
Sister Elizabeth was beatified on November 25, 1984 by Pope Saint John Paul II, and canonized a saint on October 16, 2016 by Pope Francis I.
In her short life as a religious, she was a spiritual director for many, and she left a legacy of letters and retreat guides. Her remains are interred in the Dijon monastery.
We commemorate her feastday on November 8.
(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, carmelnet.org and carmelitefriarsocd.com)
(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for Holy Women ~ religious)
“Lord God, You kept Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity 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.”