Franciscan Saints




23rd September

The Servant of God Mary Emmanuela

Widow, Second Order

Mary Emmanuela was a Spanish princess, a descendant of the famous dukes of Medina—Sidonia. Her noble rank, the wealth of her family, and her exceptional beauty caused her to give herself up entirely to the world and its vanities. The fact that she remained childless in the married state, only made her seek consolation in dissipating diversions and sinful gratifications.

But the mercy of God caused a fortunate misfortune to tear her away from the abyss to which she was hastening. With another duchess she was crossing a bridge, when the beams suddenly gave way and the bridge fell into the river. Her companion was hurled into the water and drowned; but Emmanuela remained suspended by her clothes from a beam that still stood in place. In this dangerous predicament she made a vow that if she were saved, she would change her life and build a Franciscan convent. She was saved and brought to shore unharmed.

At once she began the erection of the Franciscan convent and church at Seville, and when her husband died, she entered the monastery of the Poor Clares in that city. There she was an object of edification to all the sisters on account of her zeal for penance, her humility, and her unceasing prayer for the divine mercy. Her desire to make satisfaction for her sins urged her, towards the close of her life, to transfer to a Poor Clare community of stricter observance. There she died in the year 1543. When her grave was opened forty years later, her body was found incorrupt.

Prayer of the Church
(Third Prayer on Ember Saturday in Lent)

Give ears to our prayers, we beseech The, O Lord, that through
Thy grace, we may both deserve to be humble in prosperity and
safe in adversity.
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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