Elizabeth was a Spanish princess, daughter of Peter III of Aragón. Saintliness ran in her family: her great aunt was St. Elizabeth of Hungary, one of the most venerated saints of the day.
As a child, Elizabeth was pious and prayed daily. During her arranged marriage to King Denis of Portugal she revealed her dedication to the poor and sick. She built hospitals, orphanages and places of refuge for the homeless. As queen, she took an interest in Portuguese politics, but she never let her status stand in the way of helping those in need.