Franciscan Saints
  Tau
 
17th October

The Servant of God Baptista of Piacenza

Virgin, Third Order

Like her patron saint, St. John the Baptist, Baptista seems to have received the special graces of virtue and love for retirement. For, these were her distinctive marks from childhood As much as possible she avoided association with the world and sought only to please God in everything she did.

When she was old enough, she entered the convent of St. Mary Magdalen at Piacenza, whose members observed the rule of the Third Order of St. Francis while living in  austere enclosure. Under the guidance of an excellent superior, Baptista stood out among her fellow sisters her holy life. She loved poverty and practiced it most faithfully. In the spirit of humility she performed the lowliest duties in the house with special delight, and out of love for her companions she accepted the most disagreeable tasks as her individual responsibility.

She was determined to keep her heart closely united with God and always said her prayers with the greatest devotion. She prepared herself   for Holy Communion with utmost care. On the evening before receiving our Blessed Lord, she would direct all her thoughts and actions to this event, as if, like her holy patron, she was preparing the way for Christ. On the day she received Communion she was filled with joy from the first moment after awaking, and each Communion day was like a great feast day.

This Spiritual Food, for which she always prepared herself with so much care, empowered her to continue in her efforts to attain to perfection; and when death called her in the year 1515, she left the world in the aroma of sanctity. Her virginal body was entombed in the sacristy of the convent church. It remained incorrupt for many years and diffused a delightful fragrance.



Prayer of the church
(Over the People, Tuesday in Holy Week)

May Thy mercy, O God, cleanse us from all deceits of our old
nature, and enable us to be formed anew into holiness.
Through the same Christ Our Lord  Who liveth ´┐Żand reigneth

with Thee
 and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen

Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois


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