Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012 Litany Lane Incorruptible, Mt 9:1-8, St Anthony Maria Zaccaria, History of 12 Incorruptible Saints

Thursday, July 5, 2012 Litany Lane Blog
Incorruptible, Mt 9:1-8, St Anthony Maria Zaccaria,  History of 12 Incorruptible Saints

Good Day Bloggers! 
Wishing everyone a Blessed Day!

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7..

We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift knowledge and free will as well, make the most of it. Life on earth is a stepping to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012

Today's word:    Incorruptible.  in·cor·rupt·i·ble  [in-kuh-ruhp-tuh-buhl] adjective.  

 Origin: 1300–50; Middle English, Latin: incorruptibilis.

1. incapable of being morally corrupted; "incorruptible judges are the backbone of the society". That cannot be perverted or bribed: incorruptible by money. That will not dissolve, disintegrate, decay: an incorruptible metal

Today's Gospel Reading - Matthew 9:1-8


Jesus got back in the boat, crossed the water and came to his home town. And suddenly some people brought him a paralytic stretched out on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, 'Take comfort, my child, your sins are forgiven.' And now some scribes said to themselves, 'This man is being blasphemous.' Knowing what was in their minds Jesus said, 'Why do you have such wicked thoughts in your hearts? Now, which of these is easier: to say, "Your sins are forgiven," or to say, "Get up and walk"? But to prove to you that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins,' -- then he said to the paralytic-'get up, pick up your bed and go off home.' And the man got up and went home. A feeling of awe came over the crowd when they saw this, and they praised God for having given such authority to human beings.
Reflection• The extraordinary authority of Jesus. To the reader, Jesus appears as a person invested with extraordinary authority, by means of the words and actions (Mt 9, 6.8). The authoritative word of Jesus strikes evil at its root: in the case of the paralytic man on sin that affects the man in his liberty and blocks him in his living forces: “Your sins are forgiven” (v. 5); “”Get up pick up your bed and go off home” (v.6). Truly all the forms of paralysis of the heart and the mind to which we are subject are cancelled by the authority of Jesus (9, 6), because during his life on earth he met all these forms. The authoritative and effective word of Jesus awakens the paralyzed humanity (9, 5-7) and gives it the gift of walking (9, 6) in a renewed faith

• The encounter with the paralytic. After the storm and a visit in the country of the Gadarenes, Jesus returns to Capernaum, his city. And as he was on his way, he met the paralytic. The healing did not take place in a house, but along the road. Therefore, along the road that leads to Capernaum they brought him a paralytic man. Jesus addresses him calling him “my son”, a gesture of attention that soon becomes a gesture of salvation: “your sins are forgiven you” (v. 2) The forgiveness of sins which Jesus pronounces on the part of God on the paralytic refers to the bond between sickness, failure and sin. This is the first time that the evangelist attributes this particular divine power to Jesus, in an explicit way. For the Jews the sickness of a man was considered a punishment because of sins committed; The physical illness was considered always as a consequence of one’s own moral evil or due to parents (Jn 9, 2). Jesus restores to man the condition of salvation freeing him from illness as well as from sin.

• For some of those who were present, for the Scribes, the words of Jesus which announce forgiveness of sins is a true and proper blasphemy. According to them Jesus is arrogant because God alone can forgive sins. They do not manifest openly such a judgment of Jesus but express it by murmuring among themselves. Jesus who penetrates their hearts sees their considerations and reproves them because of their unbelief. The expression of Jesus “To prove to you that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins...” (v. 6) he is going to indicate that not only God can forgive sins, but with Jesus, also man (Gnilka).

• The crowd, differently from the Scribes, is seized by fear before the cure of the paralytic and glorifies God. The crowd is struck by the power to forgive sins manifested in the healing. People exult because God has granted such a power to the Son of man. Is it possible to attribute this to the ecclesial community where forgiveness of sins was granted on the order of Jesus? Matthew has presented this episode on forgiveness of sins with the intention of applying it to fraternal relationships within the ecclesial community. In it the practice to forgive sins, by delegation of Jesus, was already in force; a practice which was not shared in the Synagogue. The theme of forgiveness of sins is repeated also in Mt 18 and at the end of the Gospel it is affirmed that this is rooted in the death of Jesus on the Cross (26, 28). But in our context the forgiveness of sins is linked with the demand of mercy present in the episode which follows, the vocation of Matthew: «…mercy is what pleases me, not sacrifice. And indeed, I came to call not the upright but sinners” (Mt 9, 13). Such words of Jesus intend to say that He has made visible the forgiveness of God; above all, in his relationships with the Publicans or tax collectors and sinners, in sitting at table with them.

• This account that takes up again the problem of sin and reminds of the bond with the misery of man is something to be practiced in the forgiveness which should be given, but it is a story that should occupy a privileged place in the preaching of our ecclesial communities.

Featured Items from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Saint Anthony Maria Zaccaria 


Saint Anthony Maria Zaccaria
(Italian: Antonio Maria Zaccaria) (1502 – 5 July 1539)
Feast Day: July 5
Patron of The Barnabite order
Cofounder of the Barnabites. Born in 1502 in Cremona, Italy, Anthony became a medical doctor. In 1528 he was ordained a priest and cofounded the Barnabites, the religious congregation so called because it was headquartered in St. Barnabas Monastery in Milan. The Barnabites occupied the monastery in 1538, having been approved in 1533. Anthony popularized the forty-hour prayer ceremony, promoted the use of altar sacraments, and introduced the ringing of church bells on Friday. He is depicted in liturgical art in habit

Biography of Saint Anthony Maria Zaccaria :

Anthony was born in the city of Cremona, Italy in 1502 to noble parents. When he was two his father died and he was brought up as an only child by his mother. At an early age, he took a private vow of chastity. He studied philosophy at the University of Pavia, and, from 1520, medicine at the University of Padua. After completing studies in 1524, he practised as a doctor in Cremona for three years.
In 1527, he started studying for the priesthood. Because of his already extensive studies and his Christian upbringing, he was ordained in 1528. Having explored his calling for two years, mainly working in hospitals and institutions for the poor, he became the spiritual advisor to Countess Ludovica Torelli of Guastalla (then the tiny County of Guastalla) in 1530, and followed her to Milan. While there, he laid the foundations of three religious orders: one for men (the Clerics Regular of St Paul, commonly known as the Barnabites); a female branch of uncloistered nuns, the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul; and a lay congregation for married people, the Laity of St. Paul, originally called the Married of St. Paul, and sometimes referred to in North America as the Oblates of St. Paul. The three foundations met regularly and engaged together in various forms of apostolic action. Their aim was the reform of the decadent society of their day, beginning with the clergy and religious.
The Barnabites' main devotions were the teachings of Saint Paul and emphasis on love for the Eucharist and Christ crucified. Since the order criticized what they saw as abuses in the Roman Catholic Church, Zaccaria soon gained a number of enemies, and as the order's founder, he was twice investigated for heresy, in 1534 and 1537. He was acquitted both times. In 1536, he stepped down as general of the order and went to Vicenza, where he reformed two convents and founded the order's second house.
While in Vincenza, he popularized for the laity the Forty-hour devotion--solemn exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for the adoration of the faithful—accompanied by preaching. He also revived the custom of ringing church bells at 3 p.m. on Fridays, in remembrance of the Crucifixion. He left only a few writings: twelve letters, six sermons, and the constitution of the Barnabites.
While on a mission to Guastalla, Italy, in 1539, he caught a fever. Combined with the strict penances he performed, his health waned and he died on 5 July 1539, at the age of 37.
He was buried in the convent of the Angelics of St Paul, the female branch of the Barnabites, in Milan. 27 years after his death, his body was found to be incorrupt. His mortal remains are now enshrined at the Church of St. Barnabas in Milan, Italy. He was honored as a saint by the Barnabites and others, but his cult was not confirmed until 3 January 1890, when Pope Leo XIII beatified him. The same pontiff canonized him on 27 May 1897. His feast day is celebrated on 5 July.
In art, he is depicted wearing the black cassock of the order and holding a lily, cross, chalice and/or host.

  1. Marcello Landi, La presenza della Summa Theologiae di Tommaso d'Aquino nei primi due Sermoni di Antonio Maria Zaccaria in Barnabiti Studi 20 (2003), pp. 69–81
  2. Marcello Landi, Sant'Antonio Maria Zaccaria. Contesto storico-culturale e presenza della Summa Theologiae di san Tommaso d'Aquino nei suoi primi tre sermoni, in Sacra Doctrina. Studi e ricerche n. 52 (3/2006), pp. 46–81


Today's Snippet:  A Perspectus of  12 Incorruptible Catholic Saints

"You will not allow your holy one to see corruption" - Ps 15.

The incorrupt bodies of these saints are simply a living witness or proof to the truth of the Catholic religion as the one true faith from God, who has confirmed the testimony of the Church in the great miracles he has worked through it's saints.

The Council of Trent:
"The bodies of holy martyrs and others now living with Christ, bodies which were His members and temples of the Holy Spirit, which one day are to be raised up by Him and made glorious in everlasting life, are to be venerated by the faithful; God gives men many benefits through them." 

The Bodies of the saints for us are like great and holy relics, which move us to honor the saints who God has chosen to honor by preserving them incorrupt.

In scripture we read that the use of the bones of Elisha brought a dead man to life: "So Elisha died, and they buried him. Now bands of Moabites used to invade the land in the spring of the year. And as a man was being buried, lo, a marauding band was seen and the man was cast into the grave of Elisha; and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood on his feet." (2 Kgs. 13:20-21). 

A woman was cured of a hemorrhage by touching the hem of Christ's cloak (Matt. 9:20-22). The sick were healed when Peter's shadow passed over them (Acts 5:15-16). "And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them" (Acts 19:11-12). 

The Power of the relics to work miracles doesn't come from the object itself but from God, who confirms the faith of the person who is healed by means of them as to testify to the holiness of His saints. 

For historical observation, below is a list of twelve incorruptible saints: 

1. Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, Died 1879
St Bernadette was born Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes, France. From February to July 1858, she reported eighteen apparitions of “a Lady.” Despite initial skepticism from the Roman Catholic Church, these claims were eventually declared to be worthy of belief after a canonical investigation. After her death, Bernadette’s body remained “incorruptible”, and the shrine at Lourdes went on to become a major site for pilgrimage, attracting millions of Catholics each year.
Bernadette, born in 1844 of very poor parents in the town of Lourdes, France, spent most of her childhood in poor health. As she grew older, she was very slow at her studies and lost much school time due to severe asthma attacks.  On February 11, 1858, when Bernadette was sent with her younger sister and a friend to gather firewood, she saw a very beautiful Lady standing above a rose bush in a grotto at Massabielle. The lovely Lady, dressed in blue and white, smiled at Bernadette and then made the sign of the cross with a rosary of ivory and gold. Bernadette fell on her knees, took out her own rosary, and began to pray. The beautiful Lady was God’s Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. She appeared to Bernadette during seventeen other apparitions; and during one of the last of these appearances, she instructed Bernadette to go further into the grotto and begin digging in the dirt with her hands. At first nothing happened; but soon the miraculous fountain, now known as the “Fountain of Lourdes,” began to flow forth from the ground where Bernadette had dug.
At the age of twenty-two, Bernadette became a Sister of Charity at Nevers, France. Although besieged by many of the faithful, she sought God in the silence of the cloister, serving Him in humility under the vows of her profession as a Sister of Charity. She lived in the convent for thirteen years, spending a large portion of this time ill in the infirmary. When a fellow nun accused her of being a “lazybones,” Bernadette said, “My job is to be ill.” 
Sister Bernadette died on the 16th of April in 1879.  On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1933, Bernadette was canonized, thus fulfilling the promise that the Blessed Mother had made to her in 1858: “I do not promise to bring you happiness in this world, but in the next.” 
St. Bernadette’s body, which to this day has never corrupted, lies in St. Gildard Convent in Nevers, France.  After having been exhumed three times, her body was discovered to have slightly discolored in places; and in l925 an extremely light wax covering was made for her face and hands.

2. Saint John Vianney, Died 1859
St. Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney (May 8, 1786 – August 4, 1859) was a French parish priest who became a Catholic saint and the patron saint of parish priests. He is often referred to, even in English, as the “CurĂ© d’Ars” (the parish priest of the village of Ars). He became famous internationally for his priestly and pastoral work in his parish due to the radical spiritual transformation of the community and its surroundings.

3. Saint Teresa Margaret, Died 1770
On March 19, 1934, Pope Pius XI entered Blessed Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart in the register of saints. In Germany, the new saint is virtually unknown outside of the Carmelite Order. Her life was quiet and hidden. She died on March 7, 1770 at the age of 22, and of this short lifespan, she spent five years in the Carmelite monastery in Florence. She performed no brilliant, attention-getting deeds, nor did her reputation reach the wider world. She spent her life living quietly and with virtue.

4. Saint Vincent de Paul, Died 1660
Saint Vincent de Paul studied humanities at Dax with the Cordeliers and he graduated in theology at Toulouse. Vincent de Paul was ordained in 1600, remaining in Toulouse until he went to Marseille for an inheritance. On his way back from Marseille, he was taken captive by Turkish pirates to Tunis, and sold into slavery. After converting his owner to Christianity, Vincent de Paul was freed in 1607. Vincent returned to France and served as priest in a parish near Paris. n 1705 the Superior-General of the Lazarists requested that the process of his canonization might be instituted. On August 13, 1729, Vincent was declared Blessed by Benedict XIII, and canonized by Clement XII on June 16, 1737. In 1885 Leo XIII gave him as patron to the Sisters of Charity.

5. Saint Catherine Laboure


As the evening Angelus bell sounded, Catherine was born of Peter and Louise Laboure on May 2, 1806, the ninth child of a family of eleven. Fifteen minutes after Catherine’s birth, her name was entered on the city records. She was baptized on the following day on the feast of the Finding of the True Cross. It surely was God’s design that Catherine, a saint who was to be so highly favored by the Blessed Virgin, was born at the ringing of the bell for Our Lady's Angelus.When Catherine was nine years old, her saintly mother died. After the burial service, little Catherine retired to her room and, standing on a chair, took our Lady's statue from the shelf, kissed it, and said: “Now, dear Lady, you are to be my mother.”
When Catherine was very young, she had a vision of St. Vincent de Paul and was thus persuaded to enter a convent. She entered the Daughters of Charity and was a very holy and cheerful nun; all of the sick people loved her company. Sister Catherine was very privileged, having received many apparitions from St. Vincent de Paul and, more importantly, from the Blessed Virgin Mary. One day the Blessed Mother chose to reveal to her a secret—Catherine Laboure’s heavenly mission was to create and propagate the Miraculous Medal. When the Mother of God gave Sr. Catherine the instructions for the medal, she said: “Have a medal struck as I have shown you. All who wear it will receive great graces.” Soon people were wearing the medals and miracles began to take place; thus the medal came to be known as the “Miraculous Medal.” Many wicked men and women were converted through the graces provided by the Mother of God. In no time at all, Miraculous Medals were propagated everywhere.Catherine died on the 31st of December in 1876; and when her body was exhumed in 1933, it was found as fresh as it was on the day it was buried. Although she had been in the grave for fifty-seven years, her eyes remained very blue and beautiful; and in death her arms and legs were as supple as if she were asleep. Her incorrupt body is encased in glass beneath the side altar at the chapel of the Daughters of Charity at 140 Rue de Bac in Paris, France, beneath one of the sites where our Lady appeared to her.

6. Saint Veronica Giuliani, Died 1727

When she became of age, her father urged her to marry and found several suitors for her; but Ursula desired to become a nun instead. Because of her father’s opposition to her desire to enter a convent, Ursula fell ill and only recovered when he gave his consent. In 1677 she was received into the convent of the Capuchin Poor Clares in Citt` di Castello, taking the name of Veronica in memory of the Passion. At the conclusion of the ceremony of her reception, the bishop said to the abbess: “I commend this new daughter to your special care, for she will one day be a great saint.” Veronica became absolutely submissive to the will of her directors, though her novitiate was marked by extraordinary interior trials and temptations to return to the world.During the time of her temptations and interior trials, Veronica had a vision of Christ bearing His cross and henceforth suffered an acute physical pain in her heart. In 1693 she entered upon a new phase in her spiritual life when she had a vision of the chalice, symbolizing the Divine Passion which was to be re-enacted in her own soul. At first she shrank from accepting this cross, and only by great effort did she eventually submit. She then began to endure intense spiritual and physical suffering. For thirty-four years she was novice-mistress and guided the novices with great prudence. In 1716 she was elected abbess; and while holding that office, she enlarged the convent. After her death the figure of the cross was found impressed upon her heart. She was canonized in 1839 by Gregory XVI. Her body remains beautifully incorrupt and can be seen at the Monastery of St. Veronica Giuliani in Citt` di Castello, Italy. In 1694 she received the impression of the Crown of Thorns, the wounds being visible and the pain permanent. By order of the bishop she submitted to medical treatment, but obtained no relief.

7. Saint Zita, Died 1272

Saint Zita (c. 1212 – 27 April 1272) is the patron saint of maids and domestic servants. She is also appealed to in order to help find lost keys. Zita often said to others that devotion is false, if slothful. She considered her work as an employment assigned her by God, and as part of her penance, and obeyed her master and mistress in all things as being placed over her by God. She always rose several hours before the rest of the family and employed in prayer a considerable part of the time which others gave to sleep. Zita was born in the beginning of the thirteenth century at Montsegradi, a village near Lucca, Italy. Her mother raised her with the fear and love of the Lord, and at an early age she was very devoted to prayers and self-mortifications. She did all with the intention of honoring the good God that created her.When Zita was still young, she went to Lucca to work as a maid for a rich family. She would awaken early in the morning and give herself to prayer; and before it was time for work, she would hurry to attend daily Mass. For her, God always came first. During her day of work, amidst trials and tribulations, there was never heard any complaint from her lips.Zita died on the 27th of April in the year 1272, being sixty years old. One hundred and fifty miracles that were wrought in behalf of those who had recourse to her intercession have been juridically proved. Her fellow servants became very jealous of her and were mean to her at every opportunity. Because she would not complain to her master, the other servants tormented her even more cruelly. But God greatly rewarded Zita’s daily offerings of humility. Her body was found, whole and entire, in 1580; and it is kept with great respect and is richly enshrined in St. Frediano’s Church in Lucca, Italy, next to the Fatinelli house where she worked for forty-eight years. Her face and hands, uncovered, can be viewed through the crystal glass. Pope Leo X granted an office in her honour, and the city of Lucca pays a singular veneration to her memory.

8. Saint John Bosco, Died 1888 [Wikipedia]
0817-3 The Tomb Of St John Bosco B
Saint Don Bosco, born Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco, and known in English as John Bosco (August 16, 1815 – January 31, 1888), was an Italian Catholic priest, educator and recognized pedagogue, who put into practice the dogma of his religion, employing teaching methods based on love rather than punishment. He placed his works under the protection of Francis de Sales; thus his followers styled themselves the Salesian Society. He is the only Saint with the title “Father and Teacher of Youth”.

9. Blessed Pope Piux IX, Died 1878
Pope Pius IX (May 13, 1792 – February 7, 1878), born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, reigned as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from his election in June 16, 1846, until his death more than 31 years later in 1878. Pius IX was elected as the candidate of the liberal and moderate wings on the College of Cardinals, following the pontificate of arch-conservative Pope Gregory XVI. Initially sympathetic to democratic and modernizing reforms in Italy and in the Church, Pius became increasingly conservative after he was deposed as the temporal ruler of the Papal States in the events that followed the Revolutions of 1848.

10.  Saint Clare of Assisi

St. Clare was the Cofoundress of the Order of Poor Clares and the first Abbess of San Damiano. She was born at Assisi, Italy, on the 16th of July in the year 1194, the eldest daughter of a rich family. At an early age she gained a great distaste for worldly affairs; and when she was eighteen years of age, greatly encouraged and aided by the great St. Francis of Assisi, she decided to leave the world and join a convent.  Late at night, on the 20th of March in the year 1212, Clare left for the monastery without her parents’ permission. St. Francis and his disciples met her with lighted candles in their hands. Clare then laid aside her rich dress; and St. Francis, having cut off her hair, clothed her in a rough tunic and a thick veil. In this way the young heroine vowed herself to the service of Jesus Christ. When her parents discovered her departure, her father, in a violent effort to bring her home, immediately followed her to the monastery. But Clare refused to return to the worldly life from which she had just departed.Clare first joined the Benedictines, but later she and other fugitives from the world began the order of the Poor Clares in a rude dwelling adjoining the chapel of San Damiano. In 1234, when the army of Frederick II was devastating the valley of Spoleto, the soldiers made an assault upon Assisi. They scaled the walls of San Damiano by night, spreading terror among the community. Calmly rising from her bed, Clare took the ciborium from the little chapel adjoining her cell and proceeded to face the invaders at an open window against which they had already placed a ladder. As she raised the Blessed Sacrament on high, the soldiers who were about to enter the monastery fell backward as if dazzled; and the others who were ready to attack took flight.St. Clare died in Assisi on the 11th of August in the year 1253. On September 23, 1850, her coffin was unearthed and opened. The flesh and clothing of the saint had been reduced to dust, but the skeleton was perfectly incorrupt. Her bones may be seen in the crypt at Santa Chiara, Italy. 

11. Saint Maria Goretti

Maria Goretti was born on October 16, 1890. Her parents were sharecroppers; and in 1899 they moved to Ferrire, Italy, her father thinking that he had a better chance to find work there. Her father met the Serenelli family and made a deal in which the Goretti family could live with them. Maria matured quite early, complained seldom, and helped her family daily with chores. Growing in her spirituality as well, Maria was very anxious to receive her First Holy Communion because of her immense love of God. She could only imagine how wonderful it would be to receive Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist! However,the Serenelli’s nineteen-year-old son, Alessandro, had other plans. He cared nothing for God and receiving Holy Communion. He was possessed by the Demon of Lust and wanted to carry out his lustful plans with Maria. Several times he approached her with his sinful ideas, but every time Maria reprimanded him and told him it is a sin to be impure. Then one day, July 5th of the year 1902, Alessandro made a sinful decision. On the morning of that fateful day, Maria had been very sick. Even so, she begged her mother to allow her to go to the fields to work. Maria knew that if she were to remain at home, Alessandro would be alone with her; but her mother insisted that she remain at home to rest. Poor Maria! She was very frightened but decided that she would be obedient to her mother’s wish instead of persisting.As soon as her family had left, Alessandro, realizing that he and Maria were alone, raced into her room and tried to rape her. Maria resisted, all the while telling him that he was sinning and would surely go to Hell. Alessandro gave up his dirty plans of the rape and instead pulled a long, sharp knife out of his belt and stabbed Maria fourteen times.She sank to the floor, crying, “Mamma! Mamma!” Alessandro dropped his dagger and fled from the room just before his father entered. Maria was immediately taken to the hospital. She lived for only one hour; but before she died, a priest came and heard her confession. He asked her, “Do you forgive your murderer?” Maria answered, “I forgive him with all of my heart, and I want him to come to heaven!” While gazing at a picture of Our Blessed Mother, Maria soon after expired. Less than fifty years later, Maria Goretti was declared a saint and martyr. Both Maria’s mother and Alessandro, who had completed a thirty-year imprisonment for his crime, attended her canonization. The beautiful, incorrupt body of Saint Maria Goretti has been placed in the Church of Our Lady of Mercy in Nettuno, Italy 12. 

12. Blessed Imelda Lambertini 

  Imelda, daughter of Count Egano Lambertini and Castora Galuzzi, was born in the year 1322 at Bologna, Italy. At an early age Imelda’s heart was turned toward God. Even though she lived in the days when it was not permitted to receive the Holy Eucharist until the age of fourteen, young Imelda’s greatest desire was to receive Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Oh how she longed and longed to receive Our Lord! When Imelda was under ten years old, she begged her father to allow her to enter the Dominican convent; and after much pleading, he finally consented to her desire. Once in the convent, she again began to plead to receive Communion. Time and time again she received the same disappointment. “No, Sister Imelda, you are too young…” At the convent she took on many odd jobs. She attended the gate for the poor, she scrubbed the floors, and she did all that was asked of her—all for the honor and glory of almighty God. On the 12th of May in the year 1333, when attending Mass with all of her Sisters, Imelda had the strongest desire to receive Our Lord. At the end of Mass, when all of the Sisters were leaving, they noticed Sister Imelda lovingly gazing toward the locked tabernacle. Some of the nuns looked at Imelda and noticed something white hovering above her. It was a Host. The nuns immediately notified the priest, who hurriedly came and carefully took the Host out of the air and placed It on a paten. Then he had no choice but to give the Host to Imelda. It was obviously God’s Will that she receive her first holy Communion. This first reception also proved to be her last; the rapture with which she received Our Lord was so great that it burst her heart. Imelda sank to the ground, unconscious. And when loving hands upraised her, it was found that she was dead. Blessed Imelda is the Patroness of First Communicants; and her beautifully incorrupt body can be seen in the Church of St. Sigismund at Bologna, Italy.

Reference: Courtesy of Catholic Apoligetics Information