Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 16 January

detail of an antique Italian holy card of Blessed Stephana de Quinzanis, aritst unknownBlessed Stephana, Virgin, O.P.

Whilst Blessed Stephana was still a child, Blessed Matthew Carreri told her that he would make her his heiress. In truth she had, like him, a large share in the sufferings of Jesus on the Cross. During forty years she suffered from a pain in her heart, which felt as if being constantly torn on a wheel. But nothing put a stop to her zeal, and, full of desire for the glory of God, she took charge of several young girls in order to bring them up to a good life. She understood how to carry out the three things recommended by Saint Thomas in the matter of education: to instruct, to please and to render souls pliant and yielding. Her efforts were so blessed by God that, by degrees, her pupils felt themselves called to the study of the highest perfection, and the humble school became a fervent monastery dedicated to the Apostle Saint Paul. Blessed Stephana was held in such high esteem that Francis I, King of France, having conquered Milan, sent his respects to her and exempted her convent from all war taxes. When Louis Sforza, Duke of Milan, went in disguise to see her, she was enlightened supernaturally as to his identity and gave him frankly the counsel he needed in order to amend his conduct. Saint Angela of Merici had several pious conferences with her, which filled them both with consolation. Blessed Stephana died at the age of seventy-three years (1530).

Prayer

O Blessed Stephana, obtain for the teaching Dominicans many generous and solid vocations.

Practice

Speak of God, when you have the opportunity, to some child or ignorant person.