From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Thu Jan 21 23:42:21 2021
The Wonderful Effect of Divine Love (5)
(The Disciple continues) One who is in love flies, runs, and rejoices; he is
free, not bound. He gives all for all and possesses all in all, because he rests
in the one sovereign Good, Who is above all things, and from Whom every good flows and proceeds. He does not look to the gift but turns himself above all gifts to the Giver.
--Thomas à Kempis --Imitation of Christ Book 3, Chapter 5
January 22nd - Blessed Mary of Pisa, Widow, Seer
(also known as Catherine Mancini)
Born in Pisa, Italy, 1355; died 1431; cultus confirmed by Pius IX in
1855; feast day formerly on December 22.
Almost from the moment Catherine Mancini was born into that noble
family she began enjoying the miraculous favors with which her life
was filled. At the age of three, she was warned by some heavenly
agency that the porch on which she had been placed by her nurse was
unsafe. Her cries attracted the nurse's attention, and they had barely
left the porch when it collapsed. She also was able to see her
guardian angel from her childhood.
When she was 5, she beheld in an ecstasy the dungeon of a palace in
Pisa in which Blessed Peter Gambacorta, one of the leading citizens,
was being tortured. At Catherine's prayer, the rope broke and the man
was released. Our Lady told the little girl to say prayers every day
for this man, because he would one day be her benefactor.
Catherine would have much preferred the religious life to marriage,
but she obeyed her parents and was married at the age of 12. Widowed
at 16, she was compelled to marry again. Of her seven children, only
one survived the death of her second husband, and Catherine learned
through a vision that this child, too, was soon to be taken from her.
Thus she found herself, at age 24, twice widowed and bereft of all
seven of her children. Refusing a third marriage, she devoted herself
to prayer and works of charity.
She soon worked out for herself a severe schedule of prayers and good
works, fasting, and mortifications. She tended the sick and the poor,
bringing them into her own home and regarding them as our Lord
Himself. She gave her goods to the poor and labored for them with her
own hands. Our Lord was pleased to show her that He approved of her
works by appearing to her in the guise of a poor young man, sick, and
in need of both food and medicine. She carefully dressed his wounds,
and she was rewarded by the revelation that it was in reality her
Redeemer whom she had served.
Saint Catherine of Siena visited Pisa at about this time, and the two
saintly women were drawn together into a holy friendship. As they
prayed together in the Dominican church one day, they were surrounded
by a bright cloud, out of which flew a white dove. They conversed
joyfully on spiritual matters, and were mutually strengthened by the
On the advice of Saint Catherine of Siena, Catherine Mancini retired
to the enclosed Santa Croce convent of the Second Order. In religion,
she was given the name Mary, by which she is usually known. She
embraced the religious life in all its primitive austerity and
reformed the convent. With Blessed Clare Gambacorta and a few other
members of the convent, she founded a new and much more austere house,
which had been built by Peter Gambacorta. Our Lady's prophecy of his benefaction was thus fulfilled.
Blessed Mary was favored with many visions and was in almost constant
prayer. She became prioress of the house on the death of her friend
Blessed Clare Gambacorta, and ruled it with justice and holiness until
her death (Attwater2, Benedictines, Dorcy).
"Word made flesh, true bread Christ makes
by his word his flesh to be, wine his Blood;
which whoso takes must from carnal thought be free.
Faith alone, though sight forsakes, shows true hearts the mystery."
--Saint Thomas Aquinas
"It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me." (Galatians 2:20)
Grant Me Rest in You, above All
By Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
Grant me, O most sweet and loving Jesus,
to rest in You, above every creature,
above all health and beauty,
above all glory and honour,
above all power and dignity,
above all joy and exultation,
above all fame and praise,
above all sweetness and consolation,
above all hope and promise,
above all desert and desire,
above all gifts and presents,
which You are able to bestow or infuse,
above all joy and gladness,
which the mind is capable of receiving and feeling;
finally, above angels and archangels,
and above all the host of heaven,
above all things, visible and invisible,
and above all,
that falls short of Yourself,
O You my God. Amen