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Saint Elizabeth of Portugal
Queen and Widow
Born 1271, Aljafería Palace, Zaragoza, Kingdom of Aragon[1]
Died 4 July 1336, Estremoz Castle in Estremoz, Alentejo, Kingdom of Portugal
Canonized 25 May 1625, Rome by Pope Urban VIII
Major shrine Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Nova, Coimbra, Portugal[1]
Feast 4 July; 8 July (1694–1969 calendars)
Patronage Third Order of St Francis
Aragonese and Valencian Royalty
House of Barcelona
Aragon Arms.svg

Alfonso II
Children include
   Peter (future Peter II of Aragon)
   Alfonso II, Count of Provence
Peter II
Children include
   James (future James I of Aragon, Valencia and Majorca)
James I
   Peter (future Peter III of Aragon and I of Valencia and Sicily)
   James II of Majorca
   Violant, Queen of Castile
   Constance, Infanta of Castile
   Isabella, Queen of France
Peter III (I of Valencia and Sicily)
Children include
   Alfonso (future Alfonso III of Aragon and I of Valencia)
   James (future James I of Sicily and II of Aragon and Valencia)
   Frederick II of Sicily
   Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal
   Yolanda, Duchess of Calabria
Alfonso III (I of Valencia)
James II (I of Sicily)
Children include
   Alfonso (future Alfonso IV of Aragon and II of Valencia)
Alfonso IV (II of Valencia)
Children include
   Peter (future Peter IV of Aragon and II of Valencia)
Peter IV (II of Valencia)
Children include
   Constance, Queen of Sicily
   John (future John I of Aragon and Valencia)
   Martin (future Martin II of Sicily and I of Aragon and Valencia)
   Eleanor, Queen of Castile
   Isabella, Countess of Urgel
Grandchildren include
   Ferdinand (future Ferdinand I of Aragon, Valencia and Sicily)
   Isabella, Countess of Urgel and Coimbra
John I
   Yolande, Queen of France
Martin I (II of Sicily)

Saint Elizabeth of Portugal[2] also known as Elizabeth of Aragon (1271 – 4 July 1336) (Elisabet in Catalan, Isabel in both Portuguese and Spanish) was queen consort of Portugal and is a saint of the Roman Catholic Church.

Contents

Biography

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Marriage

Saint Elizabeth showed an early enthusiasm for religion: she said the full Divine Office daily, fasted and did other penances, and attended twice daily choral masses.

Elizabeth was married when she was 12 years old to King Denis of Portugal , a poet, and known as Rei Lavrador, or the farmer king, because he planted a large pine forest, near Leiria. The wood from these trees would later be used to make the ships during the discoveries. Elizabeth quietly pursued the regular religious practices of her maidenhood, and was devoted to the poor and sick. Naturally, such a life was a reproach to many around her, and caused ill will in some quarters. A popular story is told of how her husband's jealousy was roused by an evil-speaking page; of how he condemned the queen's supposed guilty accomplice to a cruel death; and was finally convinced of her innocence by the strange accidental substitution of her accuser for the intended victim.

They had two children, a daughter named Constance, who married King Ferdinand IV of Castile, and a son Afonso who later became King Afonso IV of Portugal. The latter so greatly resented the favors shown to the king's illegitimate sons that he rebelled, and in the year 1323 war was declared between him and his father. Elizabeth, however, reconciled her husband and son, and is known in consequence as the "peacemaker."

Dowager Queen

King Denis died in the year 1325, and his son Afonso succeeded him. Elizabeth then retired to the convent of the Poor Clares (now known as the Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha) which she had founded in the year 1314 at Coimbra. She took the habit of the Franciscan Order, wishing to devote the rest of her life to the poor and sick in obscurity. But she was called forth to act once more as peacemaker. In 1336 Afonso IV marched his troops against the Alfonso XI of Castile, to whom he had married his daughter Maria, and who had neglected and ill-treated her. In spite of age and weakness, the queen dowager insisted on hurrying to Estremoz, where the two kings' armies were drawn up. She again stopped the fighting and caused terms of peace to be arranged. But the exertion brought on her final illness; and as soon as her mission was fulfilled she died of a fever on July 4, 1336 at Estremoz Castle.

St Elizabeth was buried at the Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha in Coimbra, in a magnificent Gothic sarcophagus. In the early 17th century, her remains were transferred to a new sarcophagus made of silver and glass. After the monastery was abandoned due to frequent floods, her tomb was transferred to the new Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Nova, Coimbra, where it can be visited today.

Elizabeth of Aragon, Museo Colonial de San Francisco. Santiago, Chile

Canonization and Feast Day

Miracles were said to have followed upon her death. She was canonized by Pope Urban VIII on 25 May 1625,[3] and her feast was inserted in the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints for celebration on 4 July. In the year 1694 Pope Innocent XII moved her feast to 8 July, so it would not conflict with the celebration of the Octave of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles.[4] In 1955 Pope Pius XII abolished this octave.[5] The 1962 Roman Missal changed the rank of the feast from "Double" to "Third-Class Feast".[6] The 1969 reform of the Calendar classified the celebration as an optional "Memorial" and restored it to the date of 4 July.

Family and Ancestors

She was named after her great-aunt Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, but was known in Portuguese and Spanish as "Isabel." She was the younger sister of King Alfonso III of Aragon and King James II of Aragon. She was also the older sister of King Frederick III of Sicily.

 
 
 
 
 
Alfonso II of Aragon
 
 
Peter II of Aragon
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sancha of Castile
 
 
James I of Aragon
 
 
 
 
 
 
William VIII of Montpellier
 
 
Marie of Montpellier
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eudokia Komnene
 
 
Peter III of Aragon
 
 
 
 
 
 
Béla III of Hungary
 
 
Andrew II of Hungary
 
 
 
 
 
 
Agnes of Antioch
 
 
Violant of Hungary
 
 
 
 
 
 
Peter II of Courtenay
 
 
Yolande de Courtenay
 
 
 
 
 
 
Yolanda of Flanders
 
Elizabeth of Aragon
 
 
 
 
 
Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor
 
 
Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
 
 
 
 
 
 
Constance of Sicily
 
 
Manfred of Sicily
 
 
 
 
 
 
Manfred II Lanza (?)
 
 
Bianca, Countess of Lancia
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bianca Maletta (?)
 
 
Constantia of Hohenstaufen
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thomas I, Count of Savoy
 
 
Amadeus IV of Savoy
 
 
 
 
 
 
Marguerite of Geneva
 
 
Beatrice of Savoy
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hugh III, Duke of Burgundy
 
 
Anne of Burgundy
 
 
 
 
 
 
Béatrice of Albon
 
Preceded by
Beatrice of Castile
Queen Consort of Portugal
1282-1325
Succeeded by
Beatrice of Castile

References

  1. ^ a b "Lives of the Saints, For Every Day of the Year," edited by Rev. Hugo Hoever, S.O.Cist.,Ph.D., New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1955, p.257
  2. ^ The name given to her in the Roman Missal
  3. ^ Ott, Michael T. (1912). "Pope Urban VIII". The Catholic Encyclopedia. XV. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15218b.htm. Retrieved 2007-09-07.  
  4. ^ "Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 96
  5. ^ General Roman Calendar of Pope Pius XII
  6. ^ 3rd Class

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