St. Juliana Falconieri
Born in 1270; died 12 June, 1341. Juliana belonged to the noble Florentine
family of Falconieri. Her uncle, St. Alexis Falconieri, was one of the seven
founders of the Servite Order (q.v.). Through his influence she also consecrated
herself from her earliest youth to the religious life and the practices of
Christian perfection. After her father's death she received about A.D. 1385 from
St. Philip Benitius, then General of the Servites, the habit of the Third Order,
of which she became the foundress. Until her mother's death she remained in her
parents' house, where she followed the rule given her by St. Philip Benitius,
practicing perfect chastity, strict mortification, severe penance, zealous
prayer, and works of Christian charity. After her mother's death she and several
companions moved into a house of their own in 1305, which thus became the first
convent of the Sisters of the Third Order of Servites, Juliana remaining the
superior until the end of her life. Their dress consisted of a black gown,
secured by a leathern girdle, and a white veil. As the gown had short sleeves to
facilitate work, people called the sisters of the new order
devoted themselves especially to the care of the sick and other works of mercy,
and the superioress, through her heroic deeds of charity, set a noble example to
all. For thirty-five years Juliana directed the community of Servite Tertiaries.
An extraordinary occurrence, mentioned in the oratio of her feast day, took
place at her death. Being unable to receive Holy Communion because of constant
vomiting, she requested the priest to spread a corporal upon her breast and lay
the Host on it. Shortly afterwards the Host disappeared and Juliana expired, and
the image of a cross, such as had been on the Host, was found on her breast.
Immediately after her death she was honoured as a saint. The Order of Servite
Tertiaries was sanctioned by Martin V in 1420. Benedict XIII granted the
Servites permission to celebrate the Feast of St. Juliana. Clement XII canonized
her in 1737, and extended the celebration of her feast on 19 June to the entire
Church. St. Juliana is usually represented in the habit of her order with a Host
upon her breast.
Acta SS., III, June, 917-25; BERNARDUS, Vita della beata Giuliana Faconieri (Florence, 1681); LORENZINI, Vita di S. Giuliana Falconieri (Rome, 1738); Legenda di S. Giuliana Falconieri, con note di Agost. Morini (Florence, 1864); BATTINI, Compendio della vita di S. Giuliana Falconieri (Bologna, 1866); SOULIER, Life of St. Juliana Falconieri (London, 1898); LÉPICIER, Ste. Julienne Falconieri fondatrice des Mantelées (Brussels, 1907).
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