ⓘ Elisabeth of France, 1764–1794. Princess Elisabeth of France, Granddaughter of France, known as Madame Elisabeth, was a French princess. She was the youngest si ..

Elisabeth of France (1764–1794)

ⓘ Elisabeth of France (1764–1794)

Princess Elisabeth of France, "Granddaughter of France", known as Madame Elisabeth, was a French princess. She was the youngest sibling of King Louis XVI. During the French Revolution, she stayed with the king and his family. She was executed at Place de la Revolution in Paris during the "Reign of Terror" in the French Revolution. She is regarded by the Roman Catholic Church as a martyr and is venerated as a Servant of God.


1. Life

Elisabeth was the youngest child of the dauphin and dauphine of France. She was born during the reign of her grandfather, Louis XV. She grew up in the Palace of Versailles. She was always close to her older sister Clotilde. The two sisters were raised together by Madame de Marsan.

Elisabeth was a skillful rider. She was also interested in art. Several of her drawings are in the museum of the Chateau de Versailles. In 1774, her grandfather, Louis XV, died. Her elder brother became king as Louis XVI.

Elisabeth was deeply religious. She was devoted to her brother the king. She refused to marry so that she could stay in France. In 1777, a marriage was suggested to Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor. He was the son of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria and brother of her sister-in-law, Queen Marie Antoinette. Elisabeth declined with her brothers consent.

Elisabeth was executed during the French Revolution. She was buried at the Cimetiere des Errancis, Paris. Her body was later moved to the Catacombs of Paris.


2. Cause of beatification and canonization

Madame Elisabeth died in the odor of holiness. According to Madame de Genlis, a scent of roses spread across the Place de la Concorde after her execution. In 1953, Pope Pius XII recognized by decree the heroic character of her virtues simply because of her martyrdom. The princess was declared a Servant of God and the cause of beatification was officially presented on December 23, 1953 by Cardinal Maurice Feltin, Archbishop of Paris. In 2016, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, reactivated the cause of his beatification. Father Xavier Snoek, pastor of the parish of Sainte-Elisabeth-de-Hungary, was appointed postulator of the cause church located in the old Temple district where the princess was imprisoned, and in May 2017 he recognized the association of the faithful promoters of their cause. On November 15, 2017, Cardinal Vingt-Trois, after consulting with the French Bishops Conference and the nihil obstat of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome, hopes that the process will lead to the canonization of Madame Elisabeth, sister of Louis XVI.

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  • Minister of Great Britain d. 1764 1735 Nathaniel Dance - Holland, English painter d. 1811 1737 Edward Gibbon, British historian d. 1794 1738