Sunday, November 8, 2009

Memorial of Bl Elisabeth of the Trinity

Elisabeth Catez was born on July 18, 1880, in the military barracks at Camp D’Avor, Bourges, France, to Captain Joseph Catez and Madame Marie Rolland. From an early age she was passionate and of strong temperament. In 1883 her sister Marguerite (“Guite”) was born. Her father passed away in 1887, leaving the two young girls orphaned. Madame Catez then took great care of her daughters.

On April 19, 1891, Elisabeth made her first Communion at St Michael’s Parish Church in Dijon, exclaiming afterwards: “I am not hungry, Jesus has fed me…” Elisabeth began taking music lessons at the Conservatory of Dijon at age 8, and, by the time she was 13, she had won the first prize for piano. She also enjoyed going on vacation with family and friends to the country, the ocean, and loved music and dances. Still, the voice of her Beloved kept calling her to Carmel. She asked her mother permission to enter but Madame Catez refused, telling Elisabeth she must wait until age 21. She offered this sacrifice to God until the day came when she could realize the desires of her heart.

Elisabeth entered the Carmel in Dijon on August 2, 1901, and received the religious name Elisabeth of the Trinity. She made her profession in 1903. On November 9, 1906, she passed away, having suffered from Addison’s disease (incurable at the time). Her last words were: “I am going to Light, to Love, to Life!” Beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1984, she discovers to us the centrality of the Word of God, baptismal grace, and the participation in the intimate life of God Trinity.


“It does us much good to look into the soul of saints and then to follow them through faith right up to Heaven; there, they are all luminous with the light of God, whom they contemplate face to face for all eternity!… The Heaven of the saints is our homeland. It is the Father’s House where we are awaited, where we are loved, where one day we, too will be able to fly and rest in the bosom of Infinite Love!

When we consider the divine world that envelops us already here in our exile and in which we can move, oh, then things here below disappear; all of that doesn’t exist, it is less than nothing. The saints, for their part, understood true knowledge so well, the knowledge that makes us leave everything, and especially ourselves, so we can fly to God and live solely with Him!”

-- Elizabeth of the Trinity – Complete Works Volume II: Letters from Carmel

Bl Elisabeth of the Trinity, pray for us!

** I had originally posted Elisabeth's biography in 2 installments in May. This post contains both parts with a slight modification.

Technically, we do not observe the memorial of Bl Elisabeth this year, as it falls on a Sunday. But I love her dearly so today's post is about / from her.

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