St. Elizabeth of Portugal

By 4th July 2018News, Saints

St. Elizabeth of Portugal (1271 - 1336)

She was the daughter of King Pedro III of Aragón and was named after her great-aunt, St. Elizabeth of Hungary. She was married to King Dinis of Portugal, by whom she had two children. She set up hospitals, orphanages, and other institutions, patiently endured her husband’s infidelities and provided for the education of his illegitimate children, and acted as peacemaker in the quarrelsome and complicated politics of the time.

On her husband’s death in 1325 she retired from public affairs and devoted herself to prayer and the service of the poor. Throughout her life she was faithful and regular in prayer, and daily recited the Liturgy of the Hours.

In 1336 her son, by now King Afonso IV of Portugal, went to war against King Alfónso XI of Castile. Elizabeth followed the Portuguese army on the field in an effort to bring about peace. She succeeded, but the effort killed her.