Blessed Elizabeth von Reute
The Blessed Elizabeth of Reute, T.O.R., (November 25, 1386 -November 25, 1420) - also known as Betha the Good; Betha von Reute; Elisabeth Acheer; Elisabeth Achlin; Elisabeth Bona von Reute; Elisabeth den Gode; Elisabeth the Good; Elizabeth Acheer; Elizabeth of Reute; Elizabeth the Good; Elizabeth the Recluse; Elsbeth Achler; Elsbeth Achlin; Elsbeth von Reute - was a German Franciscan tertiary.
She was credited with the gift of prophecy foretelling the election of Pope Martin V and the end of the Great Western Schism. But one of the more fascinating aspects of her experiences is that of psychokinesis – she was able to physically move objects. And it appears that physical manifestations were the predominant experience of Elizabeth. Her head is said to have shown the marks of the crown of thorns, and her body the marks of Christ's scourging. Although Stigmata only occasionally appeared on her hands, she always felt its pain. Her experiences are rather a fascinating demonstration of how the mind controls the body.
Popular veneration for Elizabeth occurred only after 1623, when her tomb was opened by the then-provost of Waldsee. Miracles were attributed to her, which were compiled into a formal document by a contemporary canon, Heinrich Scheffler (d. 1635). Pope Clement XIII officially approved her cultus on 19 June 1766.
Elizabeth was born on November 25, 1386 to Hans and Anna Achler in Waldsee in the region of Upper Swabia. She was raised in a 'pious' home, where she developed a perhaps unnatural fascination and devotion to the Passion of Christ. She became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis at the age of fourteen. Seeking to further her spiritual growth, she took as her confessor the provost of the local Canonry of St. Peter in Waldsee, Dom Konrad Kügelin (1366-1428).
Under his guidance, she and several other girls who belonged to that Franciscan fraternity sought to follow a more intense experience of their Franciscan vocation. To this end, they acquired a house in Reute on the outskirts of Waldsee in 1403.
This community was a proto-monastery of the Order, as tertiaries of the mendicant orders had not yet been allowed to profess vows. Elizabeth threw herself into a life of prayer and service, working in the cloister kitchen and in the garden, where she would spend long hours in prayer. And she made herself very ill by her fervent self-abuse:
and now began her wonderful life of seclusion, fasting, and prayer. There was no clausura at the convent, still she led so retired a life that she was called "the Recluse." She spent many hours in a little garden, kneeling on a stone or prostrate on the ground in contemplation. So pure was her life that her confessor could scarcely find matter for absolution. She had much to suffer from attacks of the evil spirit, from suspicions of her sisters in religion, from leprosy, and other sicknesses, but in all her trials she showed a heavenly patience.
This level of fanaticism was none too popular with her fellow nuns who tended to avoid her as much as possible.
So many of the experiences attributed to her, were due to extreme pain, illness, isolation and loneliness, extreme emotion and extreme fasting leading to anorexia.
Her love of the Blessed Sacrament was so great that she lived the last twelve years of her life subsisting solely on the consecrated hosts.
Despite this extreme self-abuse, she was an hospitable and kindly soul and was known for her hospitality to visitors to the little monastery, and for her concern for the poor who came to the gate to beg.
She died on her birthday in 1420. She was buried in the parish church of Reute.
Life – is the biography of her written by Kügelin, her confessor,.
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