A Servant Queen
Whenever she had time, Elizabeth served the poor. She even tasked her own servants with serving the needy. This servant queen did not fit into the immoral court of Diniz. Elizabeth was not treated in a way befitting the saint that she was. Yet, her prayers and her sweetness and gentleness won her husband. Diniz reformed his ways late in life, through the intercession and example of his wife.
In 1323, Elizabeth’s son Alfonso declared war on his father because he felt slighted by the attention given to Diniz’s illegitimate children. St. Elizabeth rode out in between the two opposing armies. She was able to do the unlikely, by God’s grace, and reconciled the two and averted war. Alfonso even went on to succeed Diniz, after his death in 1325.
Elizabeth’s granddaughter Maria was being mistreated by the King of Castile to whom she had been married. Alfonso marched off to war once more. The elderly queen again rode off to Estremoz where the two kings were facing off. She was able, through her mediation, to arrange peace and stop the fighting. Unfortunately, these exertions brought about illness, fever, and death.
A Heavenly End
In her final moments, with great joy, she told her son to follow the path of holiness and peace. She was ready to be received into heaven. She was in relationship with God and knew Him. She was ready to be received by Him. Many miracles were ascribed to her following her death and she was canonized in 1625 by Pope Urban VIII. Her feast is celebrated on the 4th of July.
Image credit: By José Gil de Castro – http://www.puc.cl/faba/ARTE/OBRAS/GildeCastro20.html, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5047484