Blessed Isabel of France
(1225 – 1270)
Isabel was sister of St. Louis and daughter of King Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile. When still a child at court, Isabel, or Elizabeth, showed an extraordinary devotion to exercises of piety, modesty, and other virtues. She refused offers of marriage from several noble suitors to continue her life of virginity consecrated to God.
She ministered to the sick and the poor, and after the death of her mother, founded the Franciscan Monastery of the Humility of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Longchamps in Paris. She lived there in austerity but never became a nun and refused to become abbess.
She died there on February 22, and after nine days her body was exhumed, when it showed no signs of decay, and many miracles were wrought at her grave. Her cult was approved in 1521.
In other years: St Peter’s Chair
This feast has been celebrated in Rome since at least the fourth century. It signifies the unity of the Church founded upon the Apostles.
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