Elizabeth Bichier des Ages was born at La Blanc, France, in 1773. She was Christianed Joan Elizabeth but commonly called by her second name. Educated in a Poitiers convent, she waged a successful fight to save family property from the National Assembly after the death of her father.
In 1797, St. Andrew Fournet encouraged Elizabeth to devote her life to education and the care of the sick. She lived for a whole with the Carmelites and the Society of Providence in order to prepare herself for the religious life.
Under Fournet’s direction, Elizabeth was put in charge of group of women dedicated to Catholic education and care for the sick and aged. This group eventually became the Congregation of the Daughters of the Cross, which by 1830 had established sixty houses in France. At her suggestion, a community of men was formed into the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Betherran. Elizabeth died on August 26, 1838, and was canonized in 1947 by Pope Pius XII.
PRAYER: Lord, our God, grant that Your faithful spouse, St. Elizabeth, may enkindle in us the flame of Divine love that she enkindled in other virgins for the everlasting glory of Your Church. Amen.