Elizabeth Catez was born in 1880 in Avor, France. Her father was an army captain and died when she was seven. She had a younger sister, nicknamed Guite, to whom she was close. It was at that age of seven that Elizabeth told a family friend that she would one day be a nun. On her twenty-first birthday she had her mother’s blessing at last to enter the Carmelite monastery in Dijon, close to her home. Elizabeth became ill shortly after entering Carmel and suffered for five years from a stomach ailment, now thought to have been Addison’s disease, incurable at the time. In the midst of her suffering, her sister nuns came to discover how much Elizabeth was a great lover of Jesus and a true friend to them. She died November 9, 1906, at age 26. Her last words were: “I am going to Light, to Love, to Life!”
Let us be inspired by what she wrote in her spiritual journal:
"It seems to me that I have found my heaven on earth, because my heaven is you, my God, and you are in my soul. You in me, and I in you – may this be my motto. What a joyous mystery is your presence within me, in that intimate sanctuary of my soul where I can always find you, even when I do not feel your presence. Of what importance is feeling? Perhaps you are all the closer when I feel you less."
The Rev. Charles Hoffacker is a retired priest of the Diocese of Washington