Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan
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Friday, June 19, 2015

Juliana Falconieri and the Religious Sisters of the Third Order of Servites

Juliana Falconieri, Order of the Servites (died 19 June 1341)

Born in 1270, Juliana Falconieri found her way naturally to the Servites, a mendicant order devoted to preaching and to the Virgin Mary (and thus its name, the Ordo Servorum Beatae Mariae Virginis, abbreviated O.S.M.) and established by her uncle, Alexis Falconieri, who was one of the order's seven original founders.

St. Juliana Falconieri,
St. Peter's, Rome
After her father's death, and under the guidance of her uncle, she became a member of the order in 1285, though she remained in her mother's home.

Like so many of the religious women whose lives we have already discussed, Juliana devoted herself to chastity, strict prayer, mortification of the flesh, severe penance, and acts of charity. (Stories about her life say that she never looked into a mirror or gazed into a man's face.)

In 1305, after her mother's death, Juliana and a group of young women, already her followers, established the first convent of the Sisters of the Third Order of Servites.

Juliana directed the convent for thirty-five years, until her death on 19 June 1341. 

Along with Catherine of Genoa, Juliana Falconieri was canonized by Pope Clement XII on 16 June 1737. Although she was not yet St. Juliana, Pope Benedict XIII (reigned 1724-30) had already recognized 19 June as a feast day for the Blessed Juliana.

St. Juliana Falconieri,
Church of Santissima Annunziata, Florence

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