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  • Writer's pictureFr. Scott Haynes

St. Juliana Falconieri

Fr. Scott Haynes

She was born the only child of a wealthy Florentine noble family of Chiarissimo and Riguirdata Falconieri.  She is the niece of Saint Alexis Falconieri, one of the seven founders of the Servites of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her father died while Juliana was very young, and her saintly uncle Alexis had a great influence on her. Her life was plagued with chronic gastric problems.

It is said that to avoid any possibility of vanity, she never gazed into a mirror. To avoid temptation, she never looked at a man’s face. Those who knew her said she trembled at the mention of sin and fainted upon hearing scandalous gossip.

St Juliana refused an arranged marriage at age 14 as she was dedicating her life totally to Jesus Christ.Her spiritual father was Saint Philip Benizi, a member of the Servite Order. She became the foundress of the Third Order of the Servites. She took a vow of virginity, and began to dress and live like a nun, when she was only fifteen. Her great devotion was to the sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Lady led her, because of this devotion, to a most ecstatic love of the Blessed Sacrament. Saint Juliana Falconieri is called “the saint of the Holy Eucharist.” She helped form and served as the first superior of the Servite Order of Mary (Servite Nuns, the Mantellate Servites), which was formally established in 1304, and their first convent founded in 1305.

She was seventy years old when she died. This was after years of great sickness. She was so ill in her stomach that she could not receive Our Lord in the Eucharist by way of Viaticum. Because of frequent vomiting, she asked the priest as a favor that the Sacred Host be placed on a corporal and laid on her heart. At the moment she died, the Sacred Host disappeared. After the death of Saint Juliana Falconieri, the form of the Host was found stamped on her heart in the exact place where the Blessed Sacrament had been laid when she was dying.

The Servite Order was approved by Pope Martin V in the year 1420. Pope Benedict XIII recognized the devotion long paid to her and granted the Servites permission to celebrate the feast of the Blessed Juliana. Pope Clement XII canonized her in the year 1737 and extended the celebration of her feast day (June 19) to the entire Church.

O God, Who miraculously fortified blessed Juliana, Your Virgin, in her last illness with the precious Body of Your Son, grant, we beseech You, that with her merits pleading for us, we also, refreshed and strengthened by the same sacrament in our dying agony, may be brought to our heavenly home. Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.


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