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St. Elizabeth of Portugal: Bread into roses

July 5, 2012
Yesterday the universal church celebrated Elizabeth of Portugal known in her home country as Saint Queen Elizabeth.
Elizabeth born in Zaragoza, Spain in 1271, she was the daughter of Peter III of Aragon and was married off to King Denis of Portugal in 1282.  From the beginning Elizabeth showed a great compassion to the poor.
Legend says she would leave the palace disguised, in order to take food to the poor. She was very devoted to God and also passed great part of her time in prayer.
One of the miracles attributed to her is the “miracle of the roses”. After the king had discovered she was leaving the palace to take food to the poor he forbade her to do it. He threatened to lock her up and confine her to the palace. She never gave up and every day she was still leaving behind the king’s back. One day in the winter time she was carrying pieces of bread hidden in her dress. The King saw her going out and stopped her asking, “What you are carrying?” She answered, “Roses, my lord.” He didn’t believe because it was winter. He asked her to show him the roses. Obediently she unfolded the dress and there were roses instead of bread.
This is the most famous miracle attributed to her. She was always an example of devotion to God and to those in need. When her husband died in 1325, she entered in a convent of Poor Claires in Coimbra where she spent the rest of her days.
She left the convent one time in the summer of 1336 to try to stop a war between her son, Alphonse IV of Portugal,  and her grandson, Alphonse XI of Spain.  In spite of being sick she walked to the middle of the battle field and did not leave until the two men came to a resolution peacefully. The battle was averted, but Elizabeth died shortly after.
Pope Urban VIII canonized her in 1625 and choose the date of her death, July 4 as her feast day.

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