Saint Imelda Lambertini (1322-1333), the patron saint of First Communicants. Blessed Imelda is one of the youngest saints of the Church, joining her Maker in Heaven at age eleven. Her yearning for the Holy Eucharist, and simple faith in the Lord remind us of the words of Jesus: "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all" (Mark 10:15).
Saint Agnes of Rome and Our Heavenly Mother, Mary, Queen of Angels. At her fifth birthday, following receiving many gifts, Imelda inquired of her parents if she might have just one more. Her father, angered by what he perceived to be greed, rebuked her. However, she whispered to them, “I’d like to receive Our Lord in Holy Eucharist.”
“Tell me, can anyone receive Jesus into his heart and not die?"
Ascension, when Imelda was eleven, her yearning for the Holy Eucharist was fulfilled. Following Mass, after her sisters had received Communion, Imelda remained behind in the chapel in prayer. One nun, having returned for her, was amazed to see a Eucharistic Host, surrounded by a warm light, hovering in the air above Imelda. She summoned a priest, who when confronted with this miraculous occurrence, had little choice but to grant Imelda her first Eucharist on the spot. Imelda received the Lord, and sunk into rapturous ecstasy. Her sisters left her to pray alone in joy, and upon returning, found that she had died, her heart broken from the love she felt for God and the joy she experienced in their union.
35Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."
53Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." (John 6: 25-40; 53-58)
Lord Jesus Christ, you received into heaven Blessed Imelda
who loved you in the Eucharistic banquet. By her prayers
may we learn to approach your holy table with that same fervent love
and so fulfill our longing to be with you,
who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Year 2: Day 133 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Gratitude for the gift of the Eucharist
Requested Intentions: Successful resolution to legal proceedings (N); Freedom from worry and successful employment (M); For successful sale of home and freedom from debt (J); Freedom from pain and illness (E); For successful living arrangements, travels, health, and studies (F); Healing, successful studies, financial success (F); For husband’s successful employment (Y); For children’s faith journey; Recovery of a friend suffering from addiction (M); Successful employment (P); Obedience to the will of the Lord (J); Financial recovery (S); Freedom from evil influence (I); Recovery from illness (J); Freedom from addiction (J); Successful transplant surgery (K); Healing for a daughter (T); Acceptance into school (V); Successful immigration; for a sister’s career and marriage (F); Financial recovery; Successful ministry (A); Financial ability to send children to school (S); Safe return of a runaway (J); Healing of a family (J).
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."