St. Elizabeth of the Trinity began her ten-day retreat on this day in 1904, the first since her profession retreat in January 1903. She told her sister that the extra solitude and prayer “created a very enticing schedule” because “I'm going to lose myself in Him.”
Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, always a spiritual director to her own mother, offers this word of wisdom in a letter written on this date in 1906: “The Master called the hour of his Passion ‘His hour’... When faced with great suffering or a tiny sacrifice, oh, let’s think right away that ‘this is our hour’...” Elizabeth faced great suffering in that moment of her life; was she encouraging herself, too?
St. Elizabeth of the Trinity writes a letter to her younger sister Guite, which has become of the masterpieces of her correspondence. Writing on the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the months before her death, St. Elizabeth describes how deep is her love for the Queen of Heaven, her Mother.
In a tender letter to her mother, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity reassures her mother once again that her heroic sacrifice will be recorded "in the great book of life." But she also intimates that her health is failing: the prioress insists that Elizabeth should "spend time out in the fresh air."
Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity writes for the last time to Père Gonsalve Vallée, her Dominican spiritual father, that “next year I will celebrate your feast with St Dominic in 'the inheritance of the saints in light'.” This letter is a testament to his spiritual guidance over the course of six years.
St. Elizabeth of the Trinity can't hide the fact that she has a particular love for the Divine Office. Where St. Therese of the Child Jesus found it helpful to imagine herself throwing flowers during the Church's official prayer, Elizabeth instead deeply appreciates the Latin in the Liturgy of the Hours and frequently uses Latin quotations in her retreats and letters.
St. Elizabeth writes to a young deacon on the threshold of his ordination to the priesthood in the Cathedral of Dijon: "like Mary, “keep all that in your heart,” draw your heart very close to hers, for this priestly Virgin is also the “Mother of Divine Grace”."
We recall the birth of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity on 18 July 1880: biographer Father Conrad de Meester describes the labor and delivery as "dramatic". Madame Catez was almost 34 years old; Elizabeth was her first baby. Two doctors were constantly at her side during labor and delivery, foreseeing a fatal outcome, since they could no longer detect a fetal pulse...
On the eve of the solemnity, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity writes to a close friend to assure her of Elizabeth's faithful prayers "during the great novena in preparation for Our Lady of Mount Carmel."
At the beginning of the novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity writes to her great friend and spiritual companion, Canon Angles: "please consecrate me to the Blessed Virgin, for she, the Immaculate One, gave me the habit of Carmel..."
On the feast day of St. Germaine de Pibrac, the nuns of the Carmel of Dijon celebrated the feast day of their prioress, Mother Germaine of Jesus. St. Elizabeth of the Trinity asked her sister for a few favors; one was: "could you also copy the 'Salutaris' by Gounod for me?"
For the feast day of her prioress in 1902, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity wrote: "Infinite Being! Depth unsoundable! Delighted, lost in Your Divinity — O Trinity, God thrice-immutable, We see Yourself in Your own clarity."
We recall the anniversary of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity's Confirmation on 8 June 1891 in the Church of Notre-Dame of Dijon, with eyewitness testimony provided by her biographer, Father Conrad de Meester, O.C.D.
Writing to Madame Hallo, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity expresses gratitude for greetings received and for "the beautiful consecration to the Sacred Heart".
St. Elizabeth of the Trinity writes to a seminarian in the last days before his ordination: "With the Virgin, you can sing your “Magnificat” and leap with joy in God your Savior, for the Almighty is doing great things in you, and His mercy is eternal... Then, like Mary, “keep all that in your heart.”
Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity writes to her beloved Abbé Chevignard in 1903, "To think that God calls us by our vocation to live in this holy light! What an adorable mystery of charity! I would like to respond to it by living on earth as the Blessed Virgin did, 'keeping all these things in my heart'..."
St. Elizabeth of the Trinity was thrilled to learn that her second niece was born during Holy Week 1905, and she wrote to her sister Guite as soon as permitted: "Here is Odette arriving on the day when the Master was sold to redeem her little soul"... it was Spy Wednesday.
At the foot of your Cross, Beloved… Jesus, my crucified Love I just told you again to take My heart without ever giving it back to me...
Excerpts from the diary of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity for 23 March 1899: "There are three principal devotions to Mary: the scapular, pictures, the rosary..."