Holy Death of St. Juliana Falconieri
The following was extracted from: "The Fairest Flower of Paradise; Considerations on the Litany of the
Blessed Virgin, Enriched with Examples Drawn from the Lives of the Saints", by Fr. Alexis M. Lepicier O.S.M., p. 68-70, 1922, Imprimatur
St. Juliana Falconieri
One of those souls who applied themselves especially to imitate the spotless purity of the Mother of God, was without doubt
the illustrious Foundress of the Mantellate Sisters of the Servants of Mary, St. Juliana, a descendant of the powerful Falconieri family of Florence, born in the second half of the thirteenth century.
During her childhood, her whole personality breathed forth such candor and modesty, that her uncle St. Alexis, one of the Seven Holy Founders of the Order of the
Servants of Mary, used to say to her mother that she had given birth to an angel rather than to a child. So great was her horror of sin, that at its bare mention she trembled from head to foot, and one day when she heard tell of some offense against God, she
fell down in a swoon.
When only fourteen, she made a vow of perpetual virginity before the miraculous picture of
the Santissima Annunziata in
Florence. In order to keep herself always pure and spotless, she afflicted her body with disciplines and hairshirts, so much so, that these latter became embedded in her flesh. Such virtues could not but arouse the hatred of the infernal enemy, who attacked
her with all manner of fierce temptations, but the holy servant of Mary used to repeat: "My Jesus, cast me into hell, but do not permit me to offend Thee!"
So great was the sanctity of Juliana, that, as we read in the Bull of her Canonization, she did not commit any deliberate venial sin throughout her whole life. The secret of such holiness is to be found in her ardent
devotion to the sorrows of Mary. Every day she recited a thousand Hail Marys before Our Lady's altar. From this devotion there grew in her heart a deep love for Jesus Crucified. She was wont to exclaim: "Let no one ever take away from me my Loved
No doubt it was owing to this great devotion, that Juliana merited the singular grace which crowned her life. In her last extremity, she desired to receive
Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, but not being able to do this on account of an excessive weakness caused by fasting, she begged the priest at least to place the Sacred Host on a linen cloth over her heart. Her wish was complied with, and lo! as soon as
the Sacred Host was placed near to that furnace of divine love, It disappeared and Juliana gave up her soul into the hands of her Lord, exclaiming: "O my Jesus!" This remarkable death took place on the nineteenth of June, 1341.
O Mary, Mother of Our Redeemer, Immaculate Virgin, temple of God, and sanctuary of the Holy Ghost, thou art the sole creature who in such a manner
wast pleasing to Jesus Christ, that He associated thee in the work of our ransom. Grant me, I beseech thee, to flee sin, and never to seek anything but the good pleasure of God. Amen.
from "The Raccolta", 1903, Imprimatur, p. 493)
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