Posted in DOMINICAN OP, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 18 June – Blessed Osanna Andreasi OP (1449-1505)

Saint of the Day – 18 June – Blessed Osanna Andreasi OP (1449-1505) Virgin, Mystic with a gift of prophecy and Stigmatist, Spiritual Director, reformer, apostle of charity – born on 17 January 1449 at Mantua, Italy and died in 1505 of natural causes.   Patronages – Mantua, school girls.bl osanna by luigi costa.JPG

Osanna was the daughter of the nobles Niccolò Andreasi, whose family had originated in Hungary and of Agnese Gonzaga.   She was reported to have had a vision of angels at age six.   Feeling called to consecrated life, she rejected a marriage arranged by her father. Unable to explain her attraction to religious life to her father, in 1463, at the age of 14, she secretly received the religious habit of the Third Order of St Dominic.   She had been drawn to this Order from her admiration of two members of the Order, the holy tertiary, Saint Catherine of Siena and her contemporary, Friar Girolamo Savonarola, who both represented to her lives of strict self-denial.

Returning home, Osanna explained that she had made a religious vow and had to wear it until she had fulfilled her promise, which is an ancient custom.   She waited 37 years to complete her vows so she could care for her brothers and sisters after the death of her parents.bl osanna andreasi.png

A legend states that Osanna, like St Catherine of Siena, miraculously learned to read and write.   One day she saw a piece of paper with two words and said, “Those words are ‘Jesus’ and ‘Mary.'” From that time on, anything relating to the spiritual was within her grasp to read.

When Osanna was thirty years old, she received the stigmata on her head, her side and her feet.   She also had a vision in which her heart was transformed and divided into four parts.   For the rest of her life, she actively experienced the Passion of Jesus but especially intensely on Wednesdays and Fridays.   Osanna confided these things in her biographer and “spiritual son,” the Olivetan monk, Dom Jerome of Mount Olivet, as well as the fact that for years, she subsisted on practically no food at all.bl asanna and the mysteries of the rosary

Osanna was a mystic who would fall into ecstasies whenever she spoke of God, and a visionary who saw images of Christ bearing His cross.   She bore the stigmata along with red marks but there was no bleeding.   She helped the poor and sick and served as spiritual director for many, spending much of her family’s considerable fortune to help the unfortunate.   She spoke out against decadence and criticised the aristocracy for a lack of morality.   She was a friend of another holy member of her Order, the Blessed Columba of Rieti and is recorded to have sought counsel from another, the Blessed Stephana de Quinzanis.6_18_osanna_de_mantoue_rose

These phenomena brought Ossana to the attention of Mantua’s ruling family.   Most notably, she was sought by Francesco II Gonzaga and his wife, Isabella d’Este, as both a spiritual guide and a counsellor on matters of state.   She frequently foretold correctly events which later came to pass and gained the reputation of a seer.   When she died in Mantua on 18 June 1505, all the members of the nobility and clergy attended her funeral, as her body was taken in procession to the Church of St Dominic, where it was enshrined.   Later, her remains were transferred to the Cathedral of St Peter in Mantua, where they are still venerated.

Her confidant, Dom Jerome (Italian: Girolamo de Monte Oliveto), wrote a vita (biography) of her life in 1507, very shortly after her death.   Although Jerome noted that Osanna was not quick to discuss her spiritual experiences, in the last years of her life she adopted Jerome as a “spiritual son,” “conceived in the Blood of Christ.”

Jerome’s account is especially unique due to his intimate relationship with his subject. The biography takes the form of a detailed report of his conversations with Osanna. Jerome appended to his account Latin translations of twenty-four letters from Osanna, accompanied by documents certifying their authenticity.

According to Father Benedict Ashley, OP, these letters express an “intense and constant physical and inner suffering” made bearable only by “sublime experiences of union with God which [Osanna] cannot describe except in broken and inadequate language.”   A special source of misery for Osanna was the degradation of the Church under the abusive pontificate of Alexander VI.

In a response to a request by the Marchesa Isabella d’Este while on a visit to Rome, through a papal brief of 8 January 1515, Leo X authorised the celebration of her feast day in the City of Mantua.   Her local cultus was confirmed by Pope Innocent XII with a Papal bull of 24 November 1694 and extended to the whole of the Dominican Order two months later.

Osannamantua
The Blessed Virgin Mary in glory appearing to the Blessed Osanna Andreasi
by Ippolito Andreasi (c 1575)

 

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Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair both with God and Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, our most Blessed and Beloved Virgin Mother Mary and the Church. "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco With the Saints, we "serve the Lord with one consent and serve the Lord with one pure language, not indeed to draw them forth from their secure dwelling-places, not superstitiously to honour them, or wilfully to rely on the, ... but silently to contemplate them for edification, thereby encouraging our faith, enlivening our patience..." Blessed John Henry Newman Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings but rejects the Second Vatican Council as heretical and, therefore, all that followed it.

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