Elizabeth was a Spanish princess when she married Denis, King of Portugal, about 1282. Elizabeth was very generous to her people. She built a hospital, an orphanage, and a shelter for travelers who were poor. She also spent time and effort to make peace among the fighting members of her family.
The king was a good ruler but not a very good husband and father. Elizabeth wore herself out trying to make peace between the king and their only son, who was warring against his father. She cared for her husband during his long illness. After he died, she joined the Third Order of Saint Francis. In art, Elizabeth often holds an olive branch or a dove.
Have the students compare Elizabeth and her grandmother’s sister, Elizabeth of Hungary.
Excerpted from Christ Our Life, by Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio
Image credit: Santa Isabel de Portugal by Francisco de Zurbaran, 1635. Public Domain via Wikimedia.