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St. Elizabeth of Portugal

Widow

July 8

ELIZABETH was born in 1271. She was daughter of Pedro III. of Arragon, being named after her aunt, St. Elizabeth of Hungary. At twelve years of age she was given in marriage to Denis, King of Portugal, and from a holy child became a saintly wife. She heard Mass and recited the Divine Office daily, but her devotions were arranged with such prudence that they interfered with no duty of her state. She prepared for her frequent communions by severe austerities, fasting thrice a week, and by heroic works of charity. She was several times called on to make peace between her husband and her son Alphonso, who had taken up arms against him. Her husband tried her much, both by his unfounded jealousy and by his infidelity to herself. A slander affecting Elizabeth and one of her pages made the king determine to slay the youth, and he told a lime-burner to cast into his kiln the first page who should arrive with a royal message. On the day fixed the page was sent; but the boy, who was in the habit of hearing Mass daily, stopped on his way to do so. The king, in suspense, sent a second page, the very originator of the calumny, who, coming first to the kiln, was at once cast into the furnace and burned. Shortly after, the first page arrived from the church, and took back to the king the lime-burner's reply that his orders had been fulfilled. Thus hearing Mass saved the page's life and proved the queen's innocence. Her patience, and the wonderful sweetness with which she even cherished the children of her rivals, completely won the king from his evil ways, and he became a devoted husband and a truly Christian king. She built many charitable institutions and religious houses, among others a convent of Poor Clares. After her husband's death, she wished to enter their Order; but being dissuaded by her people, who could not do without her, she took the habit of the Third Order of St. Francis, and spent the rest of her life in redoubled austerities and almsgiving. She died at the age of sixty-five, while in the act of making peace between her children.

Reflection. —In the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar St. Elizabeth daily found strength to bear with sweetness suspicion and cruelty; and by that same Holy Sacrifice her innocence was proved. What succor do we forfeit by neglect of daily Mass!     

Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk




Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS

Introit • Ps. 118, 75, 120

I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are equity, and in Thy truth Thou hast humbled me: pierce Thou my flesh with Thy fear; I am afraid of Thy commandments. (P.T.) Alleluia, alleluia.) Ps. 118, 1. Blessed are the undefiled in the way; who walk in the law of the Lord. Glory be …

Collect (Prayer)

Most merciful God, Who among other noble gifts, didst adorn Elizabeth, the blessed queen, with the gift of allaying the furies of war, grant us, by her intercession, after the peace which we seek in this mortal life, to attain unto everlasting joys. Through our Lord.

Epistle • Prov. 31, 10-31

Lesson from the Book of Wisdom.

[An exhortation to chastity, temperance, and works of mercy; with the praise of a wise woman.]

Who shall find a valiant woman? the price of her is as of things brought from afar off, and from the uttermost coasts. The heart of her husband trusteth in her, and he shall have no need of spoils. She will render him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. She hath sought wool and flax, and hath wrought by the counsel of her hands.She is like the merchant' s ship, she bringeth her bread from afar. And she hath risen in the night, and given a prey to her household, and victuals to her maidens. She hath considered a field, and bought it: with the fruit of her hands she hath planted a vineyard. She hath girded her loins with strength, and hath strengthened her arm. She hath tasted and seen that her traffic is good: her lamp shall not be put out in the night. She hath put out her hand to strong things, and her fingers have taken hold of the spindle. She hath opened her hand to the needy, and stretched out her hands to the poor. She shall not fear for her house in the cold of snow: for all her domestics are clothed with double garments. She hath made for herself clothing of tapestry: fine linen, and purple is her covering. Her husband is honourable in the gates, when he sitteth among the senators of the land. She made fine linen, and sold it, and delivered a girdle to the Chanaanite. Strength and beauty are her clothing, and she shall laugh in the latter day. She hath opened her mouth to wisdom, and the law of clemency is on her tongue. She hath looked well to the paths of her house, and hath not eaten her bread idle. Her children rose up, and called her blessed: her husband, and he praised her. Many daughters have gathered together riches: thou hast surpassed them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: the woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands: and let her works praise her in the gates.

Gradual • Ps. 44, 3

Grace is poured abroad in thy lips: therefore hath God blessed thee forever. Because of truth and meekness, and justice; and thy right hand shall conduct thee wonderfully.

Lesser Alleluia

Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 44, 5. With thy comeliness and thy beauty, set out, proceed prosperously, and reign. Alleluia.




Gospel • Matt. 13, 44-52

Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew. 

[The parables of the sower and the cockle: of the mustard seed, etc.]

At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls.
Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it. Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kind of fishes. Which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting by the shore, they chose out the good into vessels, but the bad they cast forth. So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Have ye understood all these things? They say to him: Yes. He said unto them: Therefore every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven, is like to a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old.

Offertory • Ps. 44, 3

Grace is poured abroad in thy lips: therefore hath God blessed thee forever, and for ages of ages.

Secret

May the offerings of thy holy people be accepted by Thee, O Lord, in honor of Thy saints, through whose merits they know that thy have received aid in time of trouble. Through our Lord.

Communion

Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity; therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (P.T. Alleluia.)

Postcommunion

Thou hast filled Thy household, O Lord, with sacred gifts; ever comfort us, we beseech Thee, by the intercession of the saint who festival we celebrate. Through our Lord.