Sunday, June 20, 2010

Blessed Columba of Rieti (Feb. 2, 1467 to May 20, 1501)

Growing up in an Italian-American family, hearing about the malocchio (the evil eye) or how to prevent it, was a natural part of life. My grandfather's sister, Vera, was considered the mystic of the family.
She was a devout Roman Catholic who read playing cards to predict the future and could tell if someone was about to or had put malocchio on a person.
Aunt Vera would drop olive oil in a bowl of water. It was three drops on top of each other. If they stayed together you were fine; if they separated, someone had cast a spell.
I didn't know what was going on at the time, but I remember being told it was just a game and not to believe any of it, the playing cards included. So, I didn't. And, when Aunt Vera was diagnosed with cancer in her later years, the "magic" went away, too. But, the devotion to Jesus, Mary, and the saints continued. There were always religious candles burning and Mother Angelica on the television.
Blessed Columba of Rieti, a mystic, is the patroness against sorcery. She was born Angelella Guardagnoli in Rieti, Italy on Feb. 2, 1467. On that day, it is said that angels surrounded her house.
When she was baptized a dove flew down to the font, so she was called Columba (the dove). Her family was extremely poor and she spent her time sewing clothing for the Dominicans.
Blessed Columba of Rieti became a Dominican tertiary. She died on May 20, 1501. Her feast day is celebrated on May 20. She was beatified in 1625.

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