JUly 4. elizabeth of portugal, dauber of wounds
Patron saint of charitable societies, difficult marriages, falsely accused people, widows, victims of adultery, victims of jealousy, brides
Lived 1271 to 1336
Saint Elizabeth of Portugal was born in Spain. As a very young girl, she chose to "fast [and] macerate her tender body." At age ten or twelve she was "given in marriage" as a child bride to King Denis of Portugal. As one blogger notes,"princesses married young in those days." The king, whose forename and country of origin make for an amusing spoonerism, was prone to "abominable lust." As such, he sired 2 children with her and additional 7 or 9 children with other girls. One source claims that, despite Denis' infidelity,"Elizabeth knew the inner, god-fearing man."
Sometimes known as the PEACEMAKER, Queen Elizabeth "had it all and turned it all to good." She founded institutions for several poetic-sounding causes: travelers, the sick, wayward women, needy foundlings, and abandonned infants. She often paid poor girls' dowries. In addition to dowering destitute brides, she dolled up them up by dressing their hair and bequeathing her jewels to them. Like St. Juliana, she liked to kiss beggars' "loathsome sores."
She is the Portuguese Academy of the Sciences' patron saint, because "in a time when healing practices consisted of astrological prognostications," she daubed a leper's wound with curative egg whites.
Elizabeth is an incorruptable. Her corpse is "as beautiful and serene as if she merely slept."
I am too big a heathen to comprehend whatever this means, but I enjoy the sounds of this sentence:
"Some of Elizabeth's acts of charity are so sublime that one almost shies away from mentioning them, for fear of trespassing on the sacred."