St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

St-ElizabethShe was born Élisabeth Catez in the Avord military camp in Cher, the first child of Captain Joseph Catez and his wife, Marie Rolland. When Elizabeth was seven years old her father died unexpectedly. The family then moved to Dijon.

Élisabeth Catez as a girl Elizabeth had a terrible temper as a child. After receiving First Holy Communion in 1891 she became more controlled and had a deeper understanding of God and the world. She also gained a profound understanding of the Most Holy Trinity. Elizabeth visited the sick and sang in the church choir. She taught religion to children who worked in factories.

Soon after, Elizabeth became interested in entering the Discalced Carmelite Order, although her mother strongly advised against it. Men had asked for Elizabeth’s hand in marriage, but she declined, because her dream was to enter the Discalced Carmelite monastery that was located 200 meters from her home.
Elizabeth entered the Dijon Carmel on August 2, 1901. She said, “I find Him everywhere while doing the wash as well as while praying.” Her time in the Carmel had some high times as well as some very low times. Today, we know about all that she felt and experienced through her writings. She wrote of when she felt she needed a richer understanding of God’s great love.

At the end of her life, she began to call herself “Laudem Gloriae”. Elizabeth wanted that to be her appellation in Heaven because it means “praise of glory”. She said, “I think that in Heaven my mission will be to draw souls by helping them to go out of themselves in order to cling to God by a wholly simple and loving movement, and to keep them in this great silence within which will allow God to communicate Himself to them and to transform them into Himself.” Her spirituality is remarkably similar to that of her contemporary and compatriot Discalced Carmelite sister, St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, who was cloistered at the Carmel in Lisieux, France. The two saints share a zeal for contemplation and the salvation of souls.

Sr. Elizabeth died at the age of 26 from Addison’s disease, which in the early 20th century had no treatment. Even though her death was painful, Elizabeth gratefully accepted her suffering as a gift from God. Her last words were: “I am going to Light, to Love, to Life!”

Sr. Elizabeth was beatified by Bl. Pope John Paul II on November 25, 1984. Her feast day is celebrated on November 8. Her most famous prayer is “Holy Trinity Whom I Adore”, which she wrote out of her love of the Most Blessed Trinity. She is a patron against illness, of sick people, of the loss of parents, and she is also patron of the 2014 San Antonio Catholic Women’s Conference. Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, pray for us!

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