She was married to King Denis, who was unfaithful many times and partook in a great deal of, shall we say, immoral activities.
It is a testament of her love and generosity that she, without being forced to do so, took care of his numerous illegitimate children. She bore him two children, but took care of the others in the same way: by providing them housing and educating them herself.
Elizabeth of Portugal is known as “Elizabeth the peacemaker” because she, being a great arbitrator, put a stop to several wars.
Her favorite phrase: “If you love peace, all will be well.”
This phrase represents her life’s work well. One well known story goes that she was concealing money in her apron–money she intended to give to the poor. She knew that if her husband Denis saw this money, he would take it from her. King Denis, seeing that she was concealing something, asked what it was, suspecting it to be money. She answered, “roses.” Story goes that when she opened her apron, the money transformed into roses.
Why? What is better: that Elizabeth persisted in her service to the poor, or that she didn’t become confrontational when confronted by her husband? Both are good: and neither is better. That, many believe, is why God deemed this miracle necessary.
Because of all this, she is often pictured with roses in her front–as in the picture above.
She is the patron saint of peace, brides, charitable organizations, troubled marriages, falsely accused people, victims of unfaithfulness, victims of jealousy, and widows.
Let’s invoke her now, in this time of war. What a perfect saint to invoke, honor, and celebrate on this, the Fourth of July.
St. Elizabeth of Portugal: Pray for us!