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Elizabeth of Portugal

St. Elizabeth of Portugal

Born: 1271

Died: July 4, 1336

Canonized: May 25, 1625, by Pope Urban VIII

Feast Day: July 4

Patron Saint of: against adultery, against jealousy, war

Elizabeth's father, Peter III, King of Aragon, married off Elizabeth at the age of 12 to King Denis of Portugal. She gave her King two children, despite his unfaithfulness toward her. By the age of 20, Elizabeth devoted herself to a life of piety, establishing a new hospital, an orphanage and a home for women. In 1320, Elizabeth's son, Alfonso, at 20 years of age, organized and led a revolution against his father's tyranny. Torn between the love and loyalty of the two, Elizabeth tried to negotiate a truce; however, because Denis no longer trusted her motives, he banished her from the kingdom. Five years later, King Denis fell ill. Despite the years of infidelity, Elizabeth forgave her husband and nursed him until his death. Elizabeth, now free, joined the Franciscan nunnery in Coimbra. Some 10 years later, Elizabeth was once again called upon to mediate a truce, this time between her son, King Alfonso IV of Portugal and Alfonso XI of Castile. This time she succeeded, but in doing so spent the last of her mortal energy. She died before returning to Coimbra.

Also known as Elizabeth of Aragon.