Historical Figures

Élise Rivet, Righteous Among the Nations

Elise Rivet , who became Mother Marie Elisabeth of the Eucharist, (1890 – 1945) was a Catholic nun, member of the resistance during the Second World War. She is a Righteous Among the Nations.

Mother Marie Elisabeth of the Eucharist

Daughter of a naval officer, Élise Rivet was born on January 19, 1890 in Draria, Algeria. When she was twenty, she came to France. In 1913, at the age of 23, she joined the community of nursing sisters of Notre-Dame de Compassion in Lyon, a convent of which she became mother superior in 1933. She then took the name of Mother Marie Elisabeth of the Eucharist.

After the rapid defeat of France during the Second World War, Elisabeth very quickly entered the resistance. She hides refugees, Jews, weapons, ammunition in her convent and provides false papers to those who need them. On March 24, 1944, she and her assistant Mother Marie Jesus were arrested on denunciation and interrogated by the Gestapo.

The soul of the camp

Imprisoned for three months in the prison of Fort Montluc, in Lyon, Elisabeth met Andrée Rivière-Paysan there, who said of her:

It was in the refectory that I saw for the first time Mother Elisabeth, whose personality and radiance came from the most depressed. She welcomed new residents with her calm smile that comforted us after the shock of arrest and prison. All gathered with our Mother, as we called her, we felt security, moral support, a supernatural ray of hope and thought that nothing more could happen to us.

In July 1944, Elisabeth was transferred to the Ravensbrück concentration camp near Berlin, where she was stripped of her nun's habit and subjected to forced labor. Andrée Rivière-Paysan, deported with him, said of her that she was "the soul of this camp", that she was "a pole of serenity and hope, of loving presence with her companions". /P>

Mother Marie Elisabeth of the Eucharist died in a gas chamber on March 30, 1945. In 1997, she was named Righteous Among the Nations.