St. Elizabeth of the Trinity 

Carmelite Mystic (1880–1906)
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Though as a child she wished for nothing more than to become a Carmelite nun, Elizabeth Catez acceded to her mother’s condition—that she await her twenty-first birthday. On that day she entered the convent in Dijon and became Sr. Elizabeth of the Trinity. The next two years passed happily. “I find Him everywhere,” she wrote, “while doing the wash as well as while praying.” But then, soon after taking her vows, she was diagnosed with an incurable disease of the adrenal glands. Elizabeth welcomed her condition as an opportunity to “conform herself to the Crucified in love.” 

In increasing agony, she lived on for three years. Under obedience she recorded her spiritual thoughts in notebooks, which were published after her death. Her teaching was re-flected in a letter she wrote to a friend: “We carry our heaven within ourselves, because he who satisfies the saints with the light of vision gives himself to us in faith and in mystery. It’s the same thing. I feel I have found heaven on earth, because heaven is God and God is in my soul. The day I understood this a light went on inside me, and I want to whisper this secret to all those I love, so that they too, in whatever circum-stances, will cling increasingly to God.” 

Elizabeth died on November 9, 1906. Her last words were, “I am going to Light, to Love, to Life.” She was canonized by Pope Francis in 2016.  

“O Consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, overshadow me so that the Word may be, as it were incarnate again in my soul. May I be for him a new humanity in which he can renew all his mystery.”—St. Elizabeth of the Trinity 

© Liturgical Press.

Robert Ellsberg

Robert Ellsberg is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Orbis Books and the author of several award-winning books, including All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time; Blessed Among All Women; and The Saints' Guide to Happiness.

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