On July 18, 1880, the lively cry of a newborn rang out on a military base camp in Avor, France. Elizabeth Catez entered the world, as Chaplain Chaboisseau celebrated Mass for the intentions of her parents, Captain Joseph Catez and his wife Marie. Elizabeth was baptized four days later, on the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalen.
Surrounded by the sounds of military trumpets, soldiers, and horses, little Elizabeth fell deeply in love with Jesus, expressing her affections by blowing kisses toward the Crucifix at the foot of the altar. Elizabeth had fierce, dark eyes and a fiery temper. Letters written by her mother and her younger sister Marguerite, describe her as short-tempered and prone to “terrible rages.” At one point, her mother considered sending her to a “house of corrections.” However, it was clear that Elizabeth’s fervor could be used for good. When her father died suddenly, the family moved to a home near the countryside. As Elizabeth gazed out of her window, she saw a stone building enclosed by gardens: she saw Carmel.
On the night of her First Holy Communion, tears streaking her face, she said, “I am not hungry; Jesus has fed me.” Then she walked to see the Mother Prioress of Carmel who told her that Elizabeth means, “House of God.” The Lord dwelt within her. The sweet whispers of monastic life began to draw her in. Her deepest desire was to consecrate her life to her beloved Jesus, but her mother forbade it. Elizabeth offered this sorrow to the Lord and accepted His holy will above all else. She wrote, “I offer You the cell of my heart; may it be Your little Bethany.” She radiated a supernatural peace, and eventually, yet with deep anguish, her mother relented and Elizabeth entered the iron gates of Carmel.
Enclosed with her Beloved, she was eager to live a life of prayer and austerity. Shortly after her entrance into Carmel, Elizabeth became ill with Addison’s disease. Her suffering was profound, and during this time her love for Jesus grew, beautifully radiating from her soul to those around her. She died on November 9, 1906. Her last spoken words were, “I am going to Light, to Love, to Life!” Dear sister, may we seek to be fed by the One who is Light, Love, and Life.
Let Us Pray
Jesus, may Your Sacred Heart mend mine. Amen!
How do you prepare a dwelling place for the Lord in your heart?
When can you pause and adore the Lord’s presence in your soul during your daily life?Awaken Love: The 2023 Prayer Pledge // Day 3 #BISblog #prayerpledge // -->> CLICK TO TWEET