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Saint of the Day

St. Juliana Falconieri

June 19
Italian. 1270-1340

Saint Juliana Falconieri was born in 1270 in answer to prayer. Her father was the builder of the splendid church of the Annunziata in Florence, while her uncle, Saint Alexis Falconieri, became one of the seven Founders of the Servite Order. Under his surveillance Juliana grew up "more like an angel than a human being," as he said. Her great modesty was remarkable.

Her devotion to the sorrows of Our Lady drew her to the Servants of Mary or Servite Order. At the age of fourteen, after refusing an offer of marriage, she received the habit from Saint Philip Benizi, General of the Order. Her sanctity attracted many novices, for whose direction she was bidden to draw up a rule, and thus she became foundress of the Mantellate.

She was the servant of her Sisters rather than their mistress. While outside her convent she led a life of apostolic charity, converting sinners, reconciling enemies, and healing the sick. She was sometimes rapt for whole days in ecstasy, and her prayers saved the Servite Order when it was in danger of being suppressed.

In her old age Saint Juliana suffered various painful illnesses. She was wasting away through a disease of the stomach which prevented her taking food, and bore her silent agony with constant cheerfulness, grieving only for the privation of Holy Communion. At age 70 she was at the point of death, and she begged to be allowed once more to see and adore the Blessed Sacrament. It was brought to her cell and reverently laid on a corporal, which was placed over her heart. Saint Juliana died in her convent in Florence in 1340. Miracles have been frequently effected through her intercession.

O faithful bride of Jesus and humble servant of Mary, Saint Juliana, who by practicing the most heroic virtues, especially the virtue of penance and the love of Jesus in His Sacrament, did arrive at the highest peak of Christian perfection and did merit to be fed miraculously with the Bread of Angels while in agony; obtain for me the grace to live a holy life in the exercise of every Christian duty and to be able to receive at the moment of death the comfort of the holy Sacraments in order to come with you to the blessed happiness of heaven. Amen.

St. Juliana Falconieri, pray for us!

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