29th May - Blessed Elia of St Clement
Born in Bari, Italy on January 17, 1901 to deeply devout parents; the third of nine children, four of which died in infancy. At her baptism four days later, she was given the name Theodora, ‘gift of God’ . She received a good religious education. She was professed in the Dominican Third Order in 1915. She had a great devotion to the eucharist and prayer, which she practised together with a group of friends. She liked to read the lives of the saints, particularly the life of St Therese of Lisieux (The Story of a Soul). She entered St Josephs Carmel, Bari, in 1920 when she took the name Elia of St Clement. She lived a life of observance and piety, taking as her teachers St Teresa and St Therese. She died on Christmas Day 1927 at midnight. On 19th December 2005 Pope Benedict XVI signed the Decree of Beatification. She was proclaimed Blessed in Bari Cathedral on 18th March 2006.
For more on her life CLICK HERE
who lives and reigns with you forever and ever.
Office of Readings
From the Common of Virgins.
From the Writings of Blessed Elia of Saint Clement
(Ed. O.C.D. 2001: pp. 282, 295, 322).
The desire to lose herself in God and her apostolic zeal
Oh sweet hiddenness, I love to pass my days in your shadow and to consume thus my existence, for love of my sweet Lord. At times, thinking of those eternal rewards, so great compared to the slight sacrifices of this life, my soul remains in wonder, and seized by an ardent longing, it throws itself on God, exclaiming: "Oh my good Jesus, I want to reach my goal, the gates of salvation, no matter what the cost. Do not deny me anything; give me suffering. May this be the most intimate martyrdom of my poor heart, hidden from every human glance: a rugged cross is what I ask of you. I want to pass my days here below hanging from this cross".
When we suffer with Jesus, the suffering is delightful; I long to suffer with all my heart, beyond this I no longer want anything.
My Delight, who could ever separate me from You? Who could be capable of breaking these strong chains that keep my heart attached to yours? Perhaps the abandonment of creatures? It is precisely this that unites the soul to its Creator. Perhaps tribulations, suffering, crosses? It is in these thorns that the canticle of the soul that loves you is freest and lightest. Perhaps death? But this will be nothing other than the beginning of true happiness for the soul. Nothing, nothing can separate this soul from You, not even for a brief moment. It was created for You and is lost if it does not abandon itself to You.
My life is love: this sweet nectar surrounds me, this merciful love penetrates me, purifies me, renews me and I feel it consuming me. The cry of my heart is: "Love of my God, my soul searches for You alone. My soul, suffer and be quiet; love and hope; offer yourself but hide your suffering behind a smile, and always move on. I want to spend my life in deep silence, in the depths of my heart, in order to listen to the gentle voice of my sweet Jesus.
"Souls, I will search for a way to cast you into the sea of Merciful Love: souls of sinners, but above all souls of priests and religious. To this end my existence is slowly disappearing, consumed like the oil of a lamp that watches near the Tabernacle." I sense the vastness of my soul, its infinite greatness that the immensity of this world cannot contain: it was created to lose itself in You, my God, because you alone are great, infinite and thus You alone can make it completely happy.
Response (from the Common of Virgins) I Cor 7:34, Ps 72:26
R/. An unmarried woman, like a young girl, can devote herself to the Lord's affairs.
* Her aim is to be dedicated to him in body as in spirit.
V/. God is the strength of her heart, he is hers forever:
R/. Her aim is to be dedicated to him in body as in spirit.
Canticle of Zechariah
Oh Lord, how gentle is your love! Lost in your embrace I shall be blessed for ever.
Canticle of Mary:
Your love, oh Lord, is like a fire consuming me in the ardent furnace of your Heart.
who were pleased to accept the self offering of Blessed Elia of Saint Clement, virgin; grant through her intercession, that, sustained by the Eucharist we may be able faithfully to do your will.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you, and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.