FEAST DAY: November 8
Elizabeth Catez lived in France with her mother, father, and younger sister. Her father was in the military. She was only seven years old when he died of a heart attack. As a child, she was known to get angry if things did not go her way. As she got older she learned to be more patient. She had a gift for music and played the piano beautifully.
Elizabeth loved God with all her heart. Her home was near a Carmelite monastery. As a young woman, Elizabeth wanted to become a Carmelite sister. Her mother asked her to wait until she was 21. Until that time, she continued with her life of prayer, singing in the choir at Mass, and getting together with friends.
At age 21, Elizabeth entered Carmel and took the name Sr. Elizabeth of the Trinity. She knew that God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is present in each of us. She was a joyful person who served God each day. She was also a person of hope.
Elizabeth knew that prayer is important in our relationship with God. “I find him everywhere, while doing the wash as well as while praying,” Elizabeth said. We, too, can offer God everything we do throughout our day. Elizabeth became ill and died in 1906, only five years after she entered Carmel. St. Elizabeth of the Trinity was canonized in 2016.
What We Can Do
■ Talk about Elizabeth’s life and example. What was she like as a child? Where did she live as a young woman? What did she do when she turned 21? Why is she called St. Elizabeth of the Trinity? How can we be joyful like she was? How can we share hope in God with others? What do her life and words teach us about prayer?
■ Be joyful like Elizabeth. Look up Bible verses about joy: “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete” (John 15:11) and “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you may abound in hope”
(Romans 15:13). Discover others using a Bible concordance or search engine.
■ Pray always as Elizabeth did. Share times and places we can pray: in the morning, at night, at home, at school, in the car, at Mass, when doing chores, when having fun, inside or outside, or when we face a challenge or a choice in our lives.
Prayer of St. Elizabeth
“O MY GOD, Trinity whom I adore, help me forget myself … May nothing be able to trouble my peace or make me leave you … Grant my soul peace. Make it your heaven, your beloved dwelling … Amen.” (Abbreviated from a longer prayer found in CCC, 260.)
Patricia Mathson, MRE, has years of experience as a director of religious education. She is the author of many books, including 70 Prayer Starters for Children from Twenty-Third Publications.
This article was originally published in Catechist magazine, November/December 2017