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St. Virginia Bracelli

Saint Virginia Centurione Bracelli


Virginia Centurione was born in the year of Our Lord 1587, the daughter of the Doge of Genoa. Though she felt a vocation to the religious life, she agreed to her family’s desire for an arranged marriage with nobleman Gaspare Bracelli, who turned out to be an alcoholic gambler with no sense of duty to his family. The couple had two daughters before Virginia was widowed after just five years of marriage. Virginia took a vow of chastity, and raised her daughters with the help of family until they were both married. Then she devoted the rest of her life to prayer and charity, building a home for the needy that soon developed into a congregation of women religious, still in existence today as the Sisters of Our Lady of Refuge in Mount Calvary. Though she attempted to resign from administrative tasks and serve only as a humble sister, she was eventually called back to her position to continue dealing with noble patrons and benefactors. She passed away at the age of 64, in the year of Our Lord 1651, and was canonized over three hundred and fifty years later. Her body is incorrupt even now.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for December 15th

THE Octave of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The same day, the consecration of St. Eusebius, bishop of Vercelli, whose birthday is commemorated on the 1st of August. His feast is kept on the 16th of this month, by order of pope Benedict XIII.

At Rome, the holy martyrs Irenaeus, Anthony, Theodore, Saturninus, Victor and seventeen others, who suffered for Christ in the persecution of Valerian.

In Africa, the martyrdom of the Saints Faustinus, Lucius, Candidus, Caelian, Mark, Januarius and Fortunatus.

In the same country, the holy bishop Valerian, who, being upwards of eighty years old, in the persecution of the Vandals, under the Arian king Genseric, was asked to deliver the vessels of the church, and as he constantly refused, an order was issued to drive him all alone out of the city, and all were forbidden to allow him to stay either in their houses or on their land. For a long time he remained lying on the public road, in the open air, and thus, in the confession and defence of the Catholic verity, closed his blessed life.

In the diocese of Orleans, St. Maximinus, confessor.

In Georgia, beyond the Euxine sea, St. Christiana, who, though a slave, was so gifted with the power of working miracles that she converted the inhabitants of that country to the faith of Christ, in the time of Constantine.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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