Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Blessed Christina Ciccarelli: prophet, healer, visionary

Today we commemorate Blessed Christina Ciccarelli (1480 - 1543), prophet, healer, and visionary.

Matthia Ciccarelli was born at Luco in Abruzzi, Italy. She was the youngest of six children and her father was Domenico de Pericolo. As she grew up, Matthia felt the call to a life of prayer and penance.

She decided to become a cloistered nun. (Cloistered Nuns are nuns who live hidden from the world and spend all their time alone in silent prayer). Matthia entered the convent of St. Augustine in Aquila and took the name Sister Christina.

Sister Christina's life as a nun was hidden and silent but the people of Aquila began to find out about the beauty of her work and the life she had chosen. She and the other nuns were bringing many blessings to them through their fervent prayers.

Sister Christina was cloistered but she knew the needs of the poor people of her area. She and the nuns sent to them whatever they could. Sister Christina was also aware of the crosses and sufferings people experienced. She prayed and offered penances to the Lord for these people.

Jesus blessed Sister Christina with ecstasies. On the feast of Corpus Christi, Christina was seen to float above the ground, and the image of a Host in a golden chalice radiated from her breast.

A vision on Good Friday caused her to have invisible stigmata (the five wounds of Jesus) and the pains of Crucifixion until the next day.

She was also blessed with the gift of prophesy and had the ability on occasion to know the future. The Lord used her to work miracles for the good of others.

When she died on January 18, 1543, the little children of Aquila went through the streets shouting that the holy nun was dead. A large crowd of people came to honor and thank her for the gift she had been for their city.

Although we may not be able to see the results of our prayers, the life of this cloistered nun shows us how powerful prayer can be.

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