20 January 2009

Miracle of the Roses

Isabel of Portugal, born July 4th, 1271, was the daughter of Pedro III of Aragon. At 17, she became the wife of Dom Dinis, Portugal's poet king. Isabel was very beautiful and kind. She quietly pursued the regular religious practices of her maidenhood, and was always devoted to the poor and the sick. She later also became known as the Queen of Peace, for her role in reconciling her husband and son, who were in emminent danger of war. Of all her good works, she is probably best loved for the legendary miracle of the roses.

Dom Dinis was unsympathetic to his wife's frequent errands of mercy for the poor and afflicted. Convinced that she was spending too much money on charities, the King forbade her from doing so. Not sure his wife would obey him, he started following her every time she went out to help people in need.

On a cold January morning, Queen Isabel left the castle with her maids. They were all carrying bread and money for the poor people, including Isabel, who carried bread in her lap. She didn't know that the King was following her...

Suddenly the King appeared and shouted at her angrily, "My Lady! What are you carrying in your lap?!!" Isabel felt fearful but answered "I'm carrying roses, My Lord!!" D. Dinis quickly replied "Roses? In January?!! I demand to see!!" As the Queen lowered her lap, beautiful roses cascaded down...

Soon, all the people learned of the miracle of the roses, and the Queen became their saint...

After the King died, Queen Isabel retired to a convent, making a wish to devote the rest of her life to the poor and sick in obscurity. Miracles were said to have followed upon her death, and in 1625 she was canonized by Pope Urban VIII and became Holy Queen Isabel.


  1. What a beautiful story, beautiful Queen and amazing Saint. I love to read and hear about all of the Saints. I just bought a really cool book (for myself for Christmas) about Saints. Love it. Your namesake, wow! You are very sweet. The miracle of roses. Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that, Isabel.


  2. Beautiful miracle!! Are you, as Isabel from Portugal, attracted to roses and charitable work? What a legacy! Sally

  3. Hi Isabel! Lovely story, I hadn't heard of that beore... thanks for sharing!
    I KNOW you love pink... and roses as well!!
    Monica x.

  4. beautiful story...but looking at her size I also think she was carrying some cakes instead of roses...

  5. Thank you for sharing "our" beautiful history with your readers. Even now, I go back and review my Portuguese history books. It is so fascinating and it reads more like fairytales. I grew up in Guimarães, the Portuguese cradle and played with my friends in the castle of our first king.....I cherish my past and my roots.

  6. I still remember my mom telling me her story. I still remember reading it on my 1st grade book. Thank you for reminding me.



  7. What a great story! I think it is true too!

  8. Such a lovely story...beautiful photos too!

    Blessings to you, Lisa


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