Franciscan Saints


 

 

 

5th and 6th July

 

 

The Servant of God John Martinez, and The Servant of God Sancia

 

Confessor, Third Order

 

In the fifteenth century there lived at Viso in the Spanish diocese of Toledo a devout couple, ]ohn Martinez and Catharine Lopez, both members of prominent families and blessed with this world’s goods. Together they joined the Third Order of St. Francis and from then on they became even more zealous in the performance of works of piety and of mercy. Because they had no children, they pleaded with God by prayer and almsgiving that He might bless them with offspring whom they could make the heirs of their wealth and good works. But it pleased God to let them remain childless.

Since they were advancing in years, John proposed making God and the poor his heirs and consecrating himself wholly to the service of God. His pious wife consented, and from then on they lived in perfect continence. With the approval of Pope Innocent VIII (1484-1492) they built a convent for Tertiaries, as also a hospital and church in honor of the Immaculate Conception. After a time, Catharine herself entered this new convent, while John led an unusually holy life of poverty and great austerity. The devout couple were buried side by side in the church they had built.

 

Prayer of the Church

(Post Communion in the Nuptial Mass)

 

We beseech The, Almighty God, to accompany the institutions

of Thy providence with Thy gracious favor, that Thou mayest

keep in lasting peace those whom Thou dost join in lawful union.

Through  Christ Our Lord Who liveth  and reigneth
with
Thee and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen

6th July

 

The Servant of God Sancia

Widow Second Order

 

If according to the words of Christ it is difficult for the rich to enter into the kingdom of heaven, it is all the more admirable if those who possess riches use them to procure heavenly treasures. It was thus that the saintly Queen Sancia managed her possessions.

She was the daughter of the king of Majorca, and the wife of Robert I, king of Naples and of Sicily. She and her equally devout consort endeavored to use their wealth only for the honor of Cod and the welfare of their subjects. She was much attached to the three orders of St. Francis, and used to say that this was not astonishing since our holy Father had in so many ways bound her to himself with his cord. In other words, a great number of her royal kinsmen were children of St. Francis either as Friars Minor, or Poor Clares, or Tertiaries.

Sancia built a convent for the Poor Clares in Naples which bore the title of Corpus Christi, and in which the Blessed Sacrament was honored in a very special way. Two hundred and fifty cloistered nuns coming from the most distinguished families among the nobility of the country dwelt in that monastery and conducted choir services there with great solemnity. During the octave of Corpus Christi the church was richly decorated, the altar was a veritable mountain of silver, and according to Sancia’s arrangements, all the clergy of the city participated m the solemnity.

Her husband also bore the title of king of Jerusalem. This was an incentive for Sancia to insure worthy veneration of the holy places which were then in Turkish hands. It cost her and her husband great effort and large sums of money to obtain from the sultan that the Holy Sepulchre as well as Mt. Sion in Jerusalem be given into the care of the Friars Minor. In 1342, by a decree of Pope Clement VI, the sons of St. Francis were formally appointed guardians of the Holy Sepulchre. This commission they are still carrying out at the present day.

Sancia was also solicitous for her subjects. Immorality was rampant in Naples at that time and it caused great sorrow to Sancia. She had a large house of refuge built for public sinners, and so favourably impressed these unfortunates that several hundred became sincerely repentant, the greater number persevering in virtue.

After the saintly death of Sancia’s husband, she built another convent of Poor Clares in Naples, named for the Holy Cross. This convent was planned according to the strictest poverty, and the primitive rule of St. Clare was observed faithfully. The queen herself entered there as a plain sister. At her own request the general of the order forbade any distinction to be made in her favour or any reference to be made to her noble extraction. She bore the simple name of Sister Clare, lived in profoundest humility, in great poverty, and in the practice of all the virtues.

She had been a religious only eighteen months when God called her to Himself on ]uly 28, 1345. She died in the odour of sanctity.

Prayer of the Church

(Fifth Sunday after Pentecost)

 

O God, who has prepared for those who love Thee such good

things as eye hath not seen, pour into our hearts such tender love

for Thee, that, loving Thee in all things and above all things, we

may obtain Thy promises which surpass all desires.

Through the same Christ Our Lord Who liveth and 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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Last edited 13/09/2017 15:35 
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