Festival of the Holy Queen Isabel

Holy Queen Isabel, Festival of the

Biennially in July
Queen Isabel of Portugal, born in 1271, is best known for the "miracle of the roses." When her husband, who was unsympathetic to his wife's frequent errands of mercy for the poor and afflicted, demanded to know what she was carrying in the folds of her robe, she told him it was roses, even though she was concealing bread for the hungry. When she opened her robe for him to inspect, the loaves of bread had been transformed into roses. She was beatified by Pope Leo X in 1516 and canonized by Urban VIII in 1625.
Historically, Queen Isabel was a strong advocate for peace in the tumultuous times in which she lived. When her husband, Dom Diniz, died in 1325, she retired to the convent of Santa Clara in Coimbra, Portugal, which she had founded. As the patroness of Coimbra, Queen Isabel is honored in early July in even-numbered years with a week of festivities that include religious processions, fireworks, speeches, concerts, and popular amusements.
CONTACTS:
Portuguese National Tourist Office
590 Fifth Ave., 4th Fl.
New York, NY 10036
800-767-8842 or 212-354-4403; fax: 212-764-6137
www.visitportugal.com
SOURCES:
FestWestEur-1958, p. 170
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