Talented Pianist, Fiery Temper, Indwelling Presence, Lover of the Trinity

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Elizabeth Catez enjoyed the parties and friendships that made up her active social life and had a love of beautiful clothes and the latest hairstyles. She was an accomplished pianist, studying at the Conservatory of Dijon, and was well-known for her musical talent. Called “Sabeth” in her childhood, she was born in 1880 on a military base in Avor, France. Elizabeth had a fiery temper that lasted until her first confession, which awakened her to the divine and made her resolve to be better behaved.

From a young age, Elizabeth had a strong desire for prayer and a deep inner life that made her profoundly aware of God’s constant presence within her. She also had the gift of making the Christian life attractive, especially to younger children. Elizabeth helped run the local youth club for children of tobacco factory workers and taught catechism classes at the nearby parish. She was gifted at storytelling and created plays for the children to perform as well as games for them to enjoy. Her love for God was apparent and easily drew others to the faith.

“We didn’t say anything to each other, but we gave ourselves to each other with such intense love that my determination to be wholly his became even stronger.”

Elizabeth began to long for religious life, even in the midst of her many activities. One day, during her thanksgiving after Mass, Elizabeth felt intensely drawn to choose Jesus as her only spouse. She afterwards described this experience in the words, “We didn’t say anything to each other, but we gave ourselves to each other with such intense love that my determination to be wholly his became even stronger.” However, her desire to enter the Discalced Carmelite Order in Dijon was delayed by her mother, who would have preferred that she accept the marriage proposal she had received, rather than enter the Carmelites.

“At last He is all mine, and I am all His: now I have nothing else but Him, He is my All!”

Elizabeth’s mother finally gave permission for her to enter Carmel after her 21st birthday, and she received the name Sr. Marie Elizabeth of the Trinity. At her profession of vows, she wrote “At last He is all mine, and I am all His: now I have nothing else but Him, He is my All! And now I have only one desire, to love Him, to love Him all the time, to be zealous for His honor as a true bride, to give Him joy, to make Him happy by preparing a dwelling and a refuge for Him in my soul.”

“O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to be utterly forgetful of self so as to be rooted in you … May nothing disturb my peace or draw me out of you, my unchangeable One, but at every moment may I penetrate ever more deeply into the depths of your mysteries…”

Elizabeth loved the Carmelite life, and thrived in the silence that led to an intense awareness of the presence of the Trinity in her soul. She composed a well-known prayer to the Trinity that begins, “O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to be utterly forgetful of self so as to be rooted in you … May nothing disturb my peace or draw me out of you, my unchangeable One, but at every moment may I penetrate ever more deeply into the depths of your mysteries…” Elizabeth suffered acutely from Addison’s disease and passed away at the age of 26. Her final words were “I am going to Light, to Life, to Love!”

Feast Day: November 8

2018-12-06T18:34:30+00:00