9th July - Blessed Jane Scopelli - Virgin
OC: Optional Memory
Born in Reggio Emilia, Italy, in 1428, Bl. Jane Scopelli began her religious life at home living as a Carmelite mantellata (member of a Carmelite lay confraternity, wearing the white cloak or mantella). In 1480, after the death of her parents, she formed a community with a number of other like-minded women. A few years later, in 1485, she acquired the house and the church belonging to the Humiliate in Reggio Emilia which she converted into a monastery. The nuns became known locally as "The White Nuns". The new community was affiliated to the Reformed Congregation of Mantua. Blessed Jane held the position of prioress in the community which grew to number twenty nuns. Many supernatural events were attributed to her and she was gifted with a great devotion to Our Lady, while living an intensely penitential life. She died on 9th July 1491 and her liturgical cult was approved by Pope Clement XIV in 1771.
Entrance Antiphon -
Let us rejoice and shout for joy, because the Lord of all things has favoured this holy and glorious virgin with his love.
Lord our God,
may the witness of your faithful bride
the virgin Blessed Jane Scopelli
awaken the fire of divine love in our hearts.
May it inspire other young women
to give their lives
to the service of Christ and his Church.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Readings may be taken from the common of virgins.
Prayer over the Gifts
may the gifts we bring you help us
to follow the example of Blessed Jane Scopelli.
Cleanse us from our earthly way of life,
and teach us to live the new life of your kingdom.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
- Mt 25:4,6
The five sensible virgins took flasks of oil as well as their lamps. At midnight a cry was heard: the bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord.
Prayer after Communion
may our reception
of the body and blood of your Son
keep us from harmful things.
Help us by the example of Blessed Jane Scopelli
to grow in your love on earth
that we may rejoice for ever in heaven.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Office of Readings
from De vita Mariae-formi et Mariana by Michael of St. Augustine
Mystical life with Mary
We have shown previously how the deiform and divine life, life in God, is to be practiced. Here we shall show how the Mariform and Marian life is to be practiced.
In order to live in God, we must, in all our actions, omissions, and sufferings, perform the will of God. We must accept with a loving and reverent attitude of soul whatever trials may come to us whether they be corporal or spiritual, whether they arise from within ourselves or come from without, whether they are inflicted by our fellow-men or by the demon himself. And we must keep our soul turned towards God, in contact with the Divine Essence as with the very air we breathe. Thus did our Saviour allow His works to be performed by His Father abiding within Him, and thus did He labor and live with His soul lovingly and reverently inclined towards His heavenly Father.
Likewise can we live in Mary, our Mother, most worthy of all love. We can live in Mary if we will strive, in all our deeds and omissions, in our penances and trials and afflictions, to preserve and promote within ourselves a filial, tender inclination of soul towards Mary also - if we will strive always to aspire towards Mary as towards our most loving and most beloved Mother in God. Our love will then flow, as it were, from God to Mary and from Mary back to God.
It would seem that sometimes the Spirit of God causes such life in a soul through a superior gift of love. This gift brings about a superabundance or overflow of divine love which is then directed towards Mary, only to return again from her to God.
"Because you are sons of God, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying: Abba, Father," writes Saint Paul. From this we learn that the Spirit of Jesus abides in the children of God, producing in them, according to their capacity, a tender love for God the Father. But just as this Spirit produced in Jesus a filial love for His Eternal Father, so it also produced in Him a filial affection for His most dear Mother, and this it will continue to do for all eternity. Is it any wonder, therefore, if the Spirit of
Jesus which, in the hearts of the children of God cries Abba, Father (that is, produces love for the Father of Jesus), also cries from those same hearts Ave, Mater (that is, produces filial and reverential love and affection for Mary), even as happened in Jesus Himself during His lifetime and happens now in heaven?
Therefore, to souls in love with Mary these words might well be addressed: "Because you are the sons and daughters of Mary, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, there to cry out: Ave, Mater" - that is, there to produce filial, tender love for Mary as a most dear and worthy Mother. For it is one and the same Spirit of Jesus which produces all in these souls; namely, both divine and Marian love, without hindering either. Only think how this took place in Christ without prejudice to the highest perfection, and you will realize how it can take place in certain of Mary's chosen children without prejudice to the contemplative life of perfection.
This all seems to be understandable enough. For what wonder is there if the Spirit of Christ, where it lives and dwells, has diverse operations: contemplation and love of God and contemplation and love of Mary, and so on? One and the same Spirit of Jesus, as we have said, accomplishes all this in the faithful soul, according to the capacity of each one and the desire of the Spirit.
R/. I count as nothing all the things of this world because of the love of Jesus Christ my Lord: *Him I have seen, Him I love, in Him I have believed, for Him I long.
V/. We bear in our bodies the sufferings of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
*Him I have seen, Him I love, in Him I have believed, for Him I long.
She is led to the king with her maiden companions. They are escorted amid gladness and joy; they pass within the palace of the king.
She praised Mary all her life, giving glory to God.