Saturday, December 11, 2010

St. Sperandia (1216 to Sept. 11, 1276)

   I read in the newspaper today that a Roman Catholic nun, who's a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph and vice president of finance at Iona College in New York City, embezzled more than $850,000. The thing I find most unusual is that Sister Marie Thornton spent the money on gifts for herself. I'm intrigued by what the 62-year-old may have bought since the majority of nuns take a vow of poverty.
  As much as I love luxurious bath and beauty products, stylish clothing, Italian leather shoes, and exotic vacations, even I couldn't treat myself to lavish gifts that amount to that total. I'm pleased that Sister Marie Thornton is receiving emotional and spiritual support although her activities are being restricted.
  St. Sperandia would never have behaved in such a manner. She was a Benedictine nun who was born in 1216 in Gubbio, Italy. She was a cousin of St. Ubaldo of Gubbio and became the abbess at a convent in Cingoli.
  St. Sperandia received mystic visions, the most noted that she was told her to wear a tanned pig skin with its bristles against her skin (maybe that's why she's incorrupt after all these years). St. Sperandia was a miracle worker and one legend is told that she could produce delicious cherries to feed hungry laborers in the middle of January.
  St. Sperandia died on Sept. 11, 1276. Her body, which is still incorrupt and exudes a sweet fragrance, has been exhumed eight times. It is on display in a sanctuary dedicated to her in Cingoli. St. Sperandia's feast day is Sept. 11.

(The lovely photo above is from the Standing on My Head blog by Father Dwight Longenecker.)

No comments: