Franciscan Saints
  Tau
 
 20th November

Blessed Elizabeth the Good

 Virgin, Third Order

TauHer liturgical feast is celebrated on November 25. She is venerated especially in Swabia in Bavaria , in the Tyrol , in Switzerland and is invoked during lightning, fire and war.


Elizabeth was a member of the Third Order of St. Francis, born 25 November, 1386, at Waldsee in Swabia, of John and Anne Acheer; died 25 November, 1420. From her earliest days "the good Betha", as she was called, showed a rare piety, and under the learned and devout Conrad Kugelin, her confessor, provost of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine at St. Peter's in Waldsee, she made extraordinary progress towards perfection.

When fourteen she received the habit of the third order, but continued to live at home. Finding the life uncongenial, she secured the consent of her parents after long entreaties to leave home. Receiving no support from them she remained at the house of a pious tertiary, and the two worked at weaving; but the remuneration was small and they frequently suffered from hunger and other privations. After three years Conrad Kugelin established a house for tertiaries at Reuter* on the outskirts of Waldsee and Elizabeth entered it together with some others.

Here she took up her work in the kitchen, and now began her wonderful life of seclusion, fasting, and prayer. There was no clausura at the convent, still she led so retired a life that she was called "the Recluse." She spent many hours in a little garden, kneeling on a stone or prostrate on the ground in contemplation. So pure was her life that her confessor could scarcely find matter for absolution. She had much to suffer from attacks of the evil spirit, from suspicions of her sisters in religion, from leprosy, and other sicknesses, but in all her trials she showed a heavenly patience. This she learned from the Passion of Christ, which she made the continual subject of meditation, the object of her love, and the rule of her life.

In consequence God permitted her to bear the marks of the Passion on her body; her head often showed the marks of the Thorns, and her body those of the Scourging. The stigmata appeared only now and then, but her pains never ceased. She was shown the happiness of the blessed and the souls in the state of purgation; the secrets of hearts and of the future were unveiled to her. She foretold the election of Martin V and the end of the Western Schism. Though so much favoured by Divine Providence she always preserved a great humility. After her death she was buried in the church of Reute. Her life was written by her confessor and sent to the Bishop of Constance, but it was only after 1623, when her tomb was opened by the provost of Waldsee, that her popular veneration spread in Swabia. After several miracles had been wrought through her intercession the Holy See was asked to ratify her cult. This was done 19 June, 1766, by Clement XIII. The Franciscans celebrate her feast on 25 November.  

Sources   LEO, Lives of the Saints and Blessed of the Three Orders of St Francis (Taunton, 1885); DUNBAR, A Dictionary of Saintly Women (London, 1904); DOLFINGER, Die selige gute Betha von Reute (Freiburg im Br., 1901).



Prayer of the church

May the devotion to the sufferings of Thine only begotten son
increase in us, O Lord, and may the remembrance of the be
steadily enlivened in our hearts after the example of Thy viregin
Blessed Elizabeth.
Through the same Christ Our Lord  Who liveth and reigneth
with Thee and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen

Prayer: Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois

APA Citation. Mershman, F. (1909). Blessed Elizabeth of Reute. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved October 24, 2013 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05391b.htm



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