Franciscan Saints

3rd January

Venerable Mary Lawrence Longo

Widow, Second Order

Our saint today is the Venerable Mary Lawrence Longo who was born in Catalonia sometime in the very late 15th century or very early 16th century. (She died on December 20, 1542). When she was fifteen years old she married John Longo, a Sicilian court official; sometime later after reprimanding a servant she was poisoned by that servant and became paralysed.

Mary placed all her trust in Our Lady – the Health of the Sick and made a pilgrimage to Loreto where she was miraculously healed, a short while later her husband died.

From then onwards Mary devoted herself to God’s work; adopting the Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis she nursed the mortally sick in a hospital she herself founded, and herself to saving fallen women - she adopted at the hospital the custom of ringing a bell at nightfall for prayers for the faithful departed.

In 1630 the Franciscan Friars of the Capuchin Reform went to Naples, and for a short time were given shelter in her hospital. She had long wished to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and about this time she was instructed in prayer that she could please God more by establishing a convent. Mary established it and, dedicated it to Santa Maria in Gerusalemme and there took on the Rule of St. Clare.

She and twelve companions entered the enclosure of the convent in 1538, the Capuchin Fathers drew up a constitution  for them.

Mary Lawrence was the first Abbess of the new convent and in that position was a mirror of cloistral discipline.

“As she lay dying, some of the sisters spoke of her virtues. But Mother Mary Lawrence said to them: ‘Do not say such things! What I have done is not due to any merit of mine. God gave me all. He alone should receive praise and thanks for it.’

Then, as she took the crucifix in her hand and cried out, ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,’ her soul hastened to eternal bliss among the saints. Her death occurred on December 20, 1542. Pope Leo XIII declared her venerable.”1

Quote: Habig, Marion, A., OFM, 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois


 Other research from New

Prayer to Our Lady, Health of the Sick

Virgin, most holy, Mother of the Word Incarnate, Treasurer of graces, and Refuge of sinners,

 I fly top your motherly affection with lively faith, and I beg of you the grace ever to do the will of God.

 Into your most holy hands I commit the keeping of my heart, asking you for health of soul and body,

 in the certain hope that you, my most loving Mother, will hear my prayer.

Into the bosom of your tender mercy, this day, every day of my life,

and at the hour of my death, I commend my soul and body.

To you I entrust all my hopes and consolations, all my trials and miseries,

my life and the end of my life, that all my actions may be ordered

and disposed according to your will and that of your Divine Son. Amen.


 January Next


Last edited 13/09/2017 15:57 
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