Feast of Blesseds Francisco Zanfredini and Michelina of Pesaro (August 5)   Leave a comment

Above:  Pesaro, Italy

Image Source = Google Earth

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BLESSED FRANCISCO ZANFREDINI (1270-AUGUST 5, 1350)

Cofounder of the Confraternity of the Annunciation

His feast day = August 5

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BLESSED MICHELINA OF PESARO (1300-JUNE 19, 1356)

Cofounder of the Confraternity of the Annunciation

Her solo feast day = June 19

Blesseds Francisco Zanfredini and Michelina of Pesaro come to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.  These two beati, having shared a feast day in the Diocese of Pesaro since 1393, share one here, too.

Blessed Francisco Zanfredini, born in Pesaro, on the Italian peninsula, in 1270, spent his life in service to Christ, present in “the least of these.”  Our saint, orphaned when quite young, entered into the religious life when he became an adult.  He gave away all his possessions, became a Franciscan tertiary, and embarked on life as a hermit.  Our saint built a convent near Pesaro.  He also built chapels in Montegranaro (about 115 kilometers–about 71.5 miles northwest of Pesaro–and Pesaro.  Zanfredini also collected alms for hospitals and for the restoration of churches.

Michelina Matelli came from a wealthy family–nobility, in fact.  At the age of 12 years, she entered into an arranged marriage to one Duke Malatesta, of Pesaro.  The couple had one child, a son.  The son died shortly after the the Duke did.  The widowed duchess gave away all her wealth and became a Franciscan tertiary.  Widows, orphans, and debt prisoners benefited from her generosity as she prepared to enter the religious life.  Blessed Michelina was certain she had chosen the proper path for her life.  Some of the relatives, however, were certain that she was out of her mind.  After a brief period of incarceration, our saint resumed the religious life.

In 1347, Blesses Francisco and Michelina founded the Confraternity of the Annunciation.  The mission of the Confraternity was to bury the dead, to help the poor, and to assist the sick–all Biblically-approved tasks.

Blessed Francisco, about 80 years old, died at his hermitage at Montegranaro, on August 5, 1350.  He had earned his reputation for wisdom, prayer, good works, and piety.

Pope Pius IX confirmed Blessed Francisco’s cultus in 1859.

Blessed Michelina lived a few more years than did Blessed Francisco.  She reported direct visions from Christ.  She also made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and received the stigmata.  Blessed Michelina died in Pesaro on June 19, 1356.  She was about 56 years old.

Pope Clement XII confirmed Blessed Michelina’s cultus in 1737.

Blessed Michelina’s patronage is for the Confraternity of the Annunciation, for Pesaro, for widows, for people with in-law problems, against the death of children, against mental illness, and for mentally-ill people.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 25, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS THE ELDER, SAINT NONNA, AND THEIR CHILDREN:  SAINTS GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS THE YOUNGER, CAESARIUS OF NAZIANZUS, AND GORGONIA OF NAZIANZUS

THE FEAST OF SAINT FELIX VARELA, CUBAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND PATRIOT

THE FEAST OF JOHN ROBERTS, EPISCOPAL MISSIONARY TO THE SHOSHONE AND ARAPAHOE

THE FEAST OF KARL FRIEDRICH LOCHNER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF THEODOR FLIEDNER, RENEWER OF THE FEMALE DIACONATE; AND ELIZABETH FEDDE, NORWEGIAN LUTHERAN DEACONESS

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O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich:

Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world,

that we, inspired by the devotion of your servants

Blessed Francisco Zanfredini and Blessed Michelina of Pesaro,

may serve you with singleness of heart,

and attain to the riches of the age to come;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Song of Songs 8:6-7

Psalm 34

Philippians 3:7-15

Luke 12:33-37 or Luke 9:57-62

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 722

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