Saint Juliana Falconieri
Juliana Falconieri, O.S.M., (1270 – June 19, 1341) was the Italian foundress of the Religious Sisters of the Third Order of Servites (or the Servite Tertiaries).
Although she did have spiritual experiences, going into a trance state, she is better known and perhaps remembered for her kindness:
The Servites' dress consisted of a black gown, secured by a leather girdle, and a white veil. As the gown had short sleeves to facilitate work, people called the sisters of the new order "Mantellate". They devoted themselves especially to the care of the sick and other works of mercy, and the superioress, through her heroic deeds of charity, set a noble example to all.
It is said she would often fall into long moments and hours of ecstasy...She was daily caring for the sick in the streets, homes, and in hospitals and was known for using her own lips to suck out the infection of her patients open sores without fear of contracting any illness. Truly a magnificent act.
Immediately after her death she was honoured as a saint.
The Servite Order was approved by Pope Martin V in the year 1420. Pope Benedict XIII recognized the devotion long paid to her and granted the Servites permission to celebrate the feast of the Blessed Juliana. Pope Clement XII canonized her in the year 1737, and extended the celebration of her feast day (June 19) to the entire Church.
Her father, Charissimus Falconieri, and his pious lady, Reguardata, were both advanced in years, and seemed to have lost all hopes of issue, when, in 1270, they were wonderfully blessed with the birth of our saint. Devoting themselves afterwards solely to the exercises of religion, they built and founded at their own expense the stately church of one Annunciation of our Lady in Florence, which, for riche and the elegance of the structure, may at this day be ranked among the wonders of the world.
B. Alexins Falconieri, the only brother of Charissimus, and uncle of our saint, was, with St. Philip Beniti, one of the seven first propagators and pillars of the Order of Servites, or persons devoted to the service of God under the special patronage of the Virgin Mary.
Juliana, in her infancy, seemed almost to anticipate the ordinary course of nature in the use of reason, by her early piety… Such was her angelical modesty, that she never durst lift up her eyes to look any man in the face; and so great was her horror of sin that the very name of it made her almost fall into a swoon.
Under the influence of her uncle, Alexis Falconieri, Julian decided at a young age to follow the consecrated life.
After her father's death, she received c. 1285 the habit of the Third Order of the Servites from Philip Benizi, then Prior General of that Order. She remained at home following the rule Benizi had given her until her mother's death, when Juliana and several companions moved into a house of their own in 1305. This became the first convent of the Sisters of the Third Order of Servites. Juliana would serve as Superior until the end of her life.
Juliana directed the community of Servite Tertiaries for 35 years. And was more of a servant to her subordinates than a mistress. [From Laudate, gracie vargas]
Juliana died on June 19, 1341.
“Truly a most excellent Saint” [Wikipedia].
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