Isabel, Santa

(Saint Elizabeth of Portugal)
(1269-1336)
   Known to the Portuguese as "Holy Queen" Isabel, she was born in Spain, the daughter of Pedro III of Aragon. At the tender age of 12, she was married to Portugal's King Dinis, who was a better monarch than he was a husband. Isabel became widely known and famous for her peacemaking among her warring family and between Portugal and Castile, her piety and devotion, and her good works in supporting and building convents, chapels, hospitals, refuges for the homeless and wayward, orphanages, and shelters for abused women. Widowed in 1325, she moved near the Santa Clara Convent in Coimbra and continued her pious deeds. She died on 4 July 1336, the day now celebrated as her feast day, and was buried in Coimbra. She was beatified in 1516, and canonized in 1625 by Pope Urban VIII.

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.

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