Today in the liturgical calendar we celebrate the feast of the great-niece of one of the most popular saints in history. St. Elizabeth of Hungary is well known as a princess who loved poverty, and her namesake shared in her love for the poor. Don’t get them mixed up though! While they share a name, St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Elizabeth of Portugal are not the same.
St. Elizabeth of Portugal was a faithful and loving wife to her husband, King Denis of Portugal, whom she married at the age of twelve. She was known for attending Mass daily and bringing peace between her conflicting family and even preventing war between kings outside her immediate family circle, for which she is also titled “The Peacemaker.” (St. Elizabeth of Portugal) Like her saintly great-aunt, she became a Third Order Poor Clare after her husband’s death. (Butler 205) She is patroness of widows.
St. Elizabeth, you are an example of piety, faithfulness in Holy Matrimony, and of keeping peace in a troubled family. Through your intercession, grant us the grace to be peacemakers in our families every day and to maintain a spirit of piety despite hardship and shame. St. Elizabeth, pray for us!
So that the Catholic reader may not be confused, the Saint’s feasts are taken from the traditional calendar, so if you follow the new calendar, this feast may not line up with the feast you may be celebrating today.
St. Elizabeth of Portugal. Encyclopaedia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Elizabeth-of-Portugal
Butler, Alden. Butler’s Lives of the Saints. edited by Michael Walsh, Harper Collins, 1991