History


 

 

 

17th March 

 

The Servant of God Paula Malatesta

 

Widow, Second Order

Paula was the consort of the marquis of Mantua, John Francis Gonzaga. She was a very devout woman. Even during the lifetime of her husband, while she was the ruling marquise, she visited the community hospital three times a week and there ministered to the sick like a Sister of Mercy, dressing their wounds and washing their feet. She also cherished great veneration for the Holy Sacrament of the Altar; with touching devotion she would accompany It in processions, and in the sense of her own nothingness in the presence of the Divine Majesty on such occasions she always went barefoot.

Through her efforts St. Bernardin of Siena came to Mantua in 1420 to preach the Lenten sermons. These discourses produced such blessed results that extraordinary zeal for Christian perfection seized particularly the more distinguished members of society. The pious marquise founded several convents, among which was the monastery of Poor Clares at Mantua, where twenty young women immediately entered. Following the statutes of St. Bernardin, they were trained to perfect observance of the rule of the order.

After the death of the marquis, Paula herself entered this convent as an ordinary sister in the year 1440. She so completely forgot her former station in life that she performed the most difficult and servile tasks like the lowliest sister, and one would have believed that she had been a servant-girl all the days of her life. At the same time she practiced rigorous penances, and was so intimately united with God in prayer that several miracles are recorded as resulting from the power of her intercession.

Through her efforts St. Bernardin of Siena came to Mantua in 1420 to preach the Lenten sermons. These discourses produced such blessed results that extraordinary zeal for Christian perfection seized particularly the more distinguished members of society. The pious marquise founded several convents, among which was the monastery of Poor Clares at Mantua, where twenty young women immediately entered. Following the statutes of St. Bernardin, they were trained to perfect observance of the rule of the order.

After the death of the marquis, Paula herself entered this convent as an ordinary sister in the year 1440. She so completely forgot her former station in life that she performed the most difficult and servile tasks like the lowliest sister, and one would have believed that she had been a servant-girl all the days of her life. At the same time she practiced rigorous penances, and was so intimately united with God in prayer that several miracles are recorded as resulting from the power of her intercession.

Rich in merits and honored as a saint because of her virtues, she died in the monastery of the Poor Clares at Mantua in the year 1449. She had definitely stated that her grave was to bear no special inscription and that she was to be buried at the door of the sacristy where she would be trampled underfoot, but also where the priests would be made mindful of her as they approached the altar.

  

Prayer of the Church

(From the Mass for the Sick)

 

Almighty, everlasting God, the eternal salvation of those who

believe, hear us on behalf of Thy servants who are sick, for whom

we humbly crave the help of Thy mercy, that, being restored to

health, they may render thanks to Thee in Thy Church. Through

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

 

March       Next

 

 
Last edited 13/09/2017 15:46 
(C) EFO 2013
 Web Administrator Wayne Benge