Born in 1271 into the royal house of Aragon, Elizabeth was the daughter of Infante Peter (later King King Peter III) and his wife Constance of Sicily and the sister of three kings: Alfonso II and James II of Aragon and Frederick III of Sicily.
Elizabeth showed an early enthusiasm for her faith. She said the full Divine Office daily, fasted and did other penance, as well as attended twice-daily choral Masses. Religious fervor was common in her family, as she could count several members of her family who were already venerated as saints. The most notable example is her great-aunt, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, after whom she was named.
Her marriage to King Denis of Portugal was arranged in 1281 when she was 10 years old, receiving the towns of Óbidos, Abrantes and Porto de Mós as part of her dowry. It was only in 1288 that the wedding was celebrated, when Denis was 26 years old, while Elizabeth was 17. Denis, a poet and statesman, was known as the Rei Lavrador (English: Farmer King), because he planted a large pine forest near Leiria to prevent the soil degradation that threatened the region.
Elizabeth quietly pursued the regular religious practices of her youth and was devoted to the poor and sick. Naturally, such a life was a reproach to many around her and caused ill will in some quarters. Eventually, her prayer and patience succeeded in converting her husband, who had been leading a sinful life.
Elizabeth took an active interest in Portuguese politics and was a decisive conciliator during the negotiations concerning the Treaty of Alcañices, signed by Denis and Sancho IV of Castile in 1297 (which fixed the borders between the two countries). In 1304, the Queen and Denis returned to Spain to arbitrate between Fernando IV of Castile and James II of Aragon, brother of Elizabeth.
She had two children: Constance, who married King Ferdinand IV of Castile and Afonso, who became King Alfoso IV of Portugal.
Elizabeth would serve as intermediary between her husband and Afonso, during the Civil War between 1322 and 1324. The Infante greatly resented the king, whom he accused of favoring the king’s illegitimate son, Afonso Sanches. Repulsed to Alenquer, which supported the Infante, Denis was prevented from killing his son through the intervention of the Queen. As legend holds, in 1323, Elizabeth, mounted on a mule, positioned herself between both opposing armies on the field of Alvalade in order to prevent the combat. Peace returned in 1324, once the illegitimate son was sent into exile, and the Infante swore loyalty to the king.
It was after her husband’s death, she discovered Wenceslaus’ secret, who had come to pay his respects. They had met a few times over the years, both enjoying their discussion on faith and devotion.
He told her about Vampires and what it was like to live the life of a ‘Saint’. She thought about his story, and adored his Mate Cinderella. She prayed and soon knew her answer.