Saint of the Day – 16 March – St Benedicta of Assisi OSC i (Died 1260) Poor Clare Nun, Abbess Died 1260 of natural causes. The Franciscan Martyrology affirms, that her life shone out in singular prudence and a great reputation for virtues and miracles.
Benedicta entered the Poor Clares of Assisi in 1214, she succeeded St Clare in the government of the Monastery of St Damiano, remaining in that office until 1260.
She almost certainly is the same one we find Abbess in 1227 in Siena and from 1240 to 1248 in Vallegloria near Spello.
Benedicta was present at the process and Canonisations of St. Clare in November 1253. After Clare’s death, Brother Leone and Brother Angelo entrusted the Breviary used by St Francis to Benedicta.
She witnessed the beginning of the construction of the Basilica in honour of St Clare (1257), the transfer of the Poor Clares from St Damiano to the abuilding annexed to the old Church of St George and perhaps also, the transfer of the body of St Clare from the Church: of St George to the new Basilica, if one accepts, with the Bollandists, as the date of death on 19 October instead of 16 March. 1260.
She was buried in the Church of St George. In 1602 the Bishop of Assisi, Crescenzi, had her relics placed with those of the blessed Amata and of St Agnes of Assisi in the Chapel dedicated to the latter, in the Basilica of St Clare. In it, above the main Altar, a large shaped cross is venerated, with St Clare and the blessed Benedetta and with the following legend in Gothic characters: “Domina Benedicta post Sanctam Claram before Abbatissa me fecit fieri,” – “Blessed Woman, first Abbess after St Clare.”
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