Discalced Carmelites of the Australia Oceania Region
Spirituality

Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity

Blessed  Elizabeth of the Trinity (1880-1906), Elizabeth Catez, was born into a military family near Bourges, France. She entered the Carmel of Dijon in 1901 dying there five years later of Addison's disease. From her earliest years she had a deep sense of God's presence in her life and determined to give her whole life and love to him. She was a gifted pianist and had a great flair for friendship, enjoying the social life of her times to the full - including following the latest Paris fashions! Her life in Carmel was brief but there she found all she desired: 'I can't find words to express my happiness. Here there is no longer anything but God. He is All; He suffices and we live by Him alone.' (Letter 91)

St John of the Cross

Her writings consist of summaries of her private retreats, prayers and her extensive correspondence to family and friends. The indwelling of the Blessed Trinity in each baptised person was the central mystery which inspired her life and spirituality:

'It seems to me that I have found my Heaven on earth, since Heaven is God and God is in my soul. The day I understood that, everything became clear to me. I wish to tell this secret to those whom I love so that they also, through everything, may also cling to God...'

(Letter 122).

 


Her feast day is on 8 November.

Principal Events in the
Life of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity

1880

July 18: Elizabeth Catez's birth at the camp of Avor in the district of Farges-en-Septain (Cher).

July 22: baptism at the camp chapel.

1887

October 2: death of her father. 

During this year: first confession.

1888 October: first enrollment at the Conservatory of Dijon.  
1891

April 19: First Communion at Saint-Michel. 

June 8: Confirmation at Notre-Dame.

1893

July 18: first prize in higher fundamentals of music at the Conservatory.  

July 25: first prize at the piano.  

1894 Spring-Summer: private vow of perpetual virginity. Interior call to Carmel.  
1899

January 24 (evening) January 28: retreat preached by Père Chesnay, S.J.  

January 30: begins the part of her Diary still preserved. 

March 26: Mme. Catez agrees to Elizabeth entering Carmel when she reaches the age of 21.

June 20: first visit to the parlor of the Carmel (after her mother's consent). 

During the year: reads [St. Thérèse of Lisieux's] Histoire d'une Ame (Story of a Soul)

1900

January 23 (evening) 27: retreat preached by Père Hoppenot, S.J.  

First half of the year: first meeting with Père Vallée, O.P.  

1901

August 2: enters Carmel.  

November: eight-day community retreat preached by Père Vergne, S.J. 

December 5 7: three day retreat in preparation for her clothing. 

December 8: clothing; Bishop Le Nordez presides over the ceremony; sermon by Père Vallée.  

1903

January 1 -10: personal retreat in preparation for her profession.  

January 11 (Epiphany Sunday): profession. 

January 21: veiling.  

1904 November 21: Elizabeth writes her prayer, "O My God, Trinity Whom I Adore"  
1905 Lent (March 8 April 22): first symptoms of illness; dispensations from observance of the Rule. Mid-August: Elizabeth, weakened, is dispensed from her office as second portress.  
1906

January 15 - 23: community retreat preached by Père Rollin, S.J.  

Before the end of March: Elizabeth enters the infirmary. 

April 8: dying. Extreme Unction. 

April 14: sudden improvement. 

May 13: new, serious attack. 

First half of August: Elizabeth writes Heaven in Faith.   August 16 - 31: personal retreat. She writes her Last Retreat. 

Evening of October 30: she is confined to bed.

October 31: receives Extreme Unction for the second time.

November 1: last Communion.

November 9: death.

November 12: burial.