Illness was Élise Bisschop's inseparable companion. Élise suffered quite especially from a chronic asthma which will oblige her to several surgical operations. But from this damaged health Élise did her treasure and her springboard to the Lord.
At school Élise spent the free-time with another sick girl. They kept a strong friendship for it.
At thirty-two, in a letter to her spiritual father, Élise reveals:
I told you that I gave myself to Him at the age of eleven, agreeing to be sick all my life, and therefore not to marry. Admit all the same that He seems to have taken this offering of children seriously ...
The children in the last years of his catechism teaching remember that Elises face regularly turned blue; she was forced to stop. It seemed in the first time that she was dying before them. Fortunately for them, after a few moments, she regained her breath and, above all, her shining smile.
Élise had, much to her regret, to cease all activity in the parish three years before her death. The doctors, having exhausted the science of the time, could not find a way to relieve his increasingly tired heart.
Élise had written to a friend in 1958:
For my part, I hope with all my strength that my suffering will help those I love; and that my life (failed, from a human point of view) will help others to succeed theirs, and that mine in this way will be successful from a spiritual point of view…
The cause of beatification seems to prove her right, she who did nothing to be known.