July 18, 2021Download the Bulletin as a PDF
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
8th Sunday after Pentecost
Feast of St. Christina of Bolsena (3rd Century)
Feast of St. Christina the Astonishing (1150-1224)
St. Christina of Bolsena was a virgin martyr who lived in Tuscan Italy, the daughter of a powerful Roman magistrate. Her father was devoted to the false gods and persecuting Christians. Through witnessing these persecutions, St. Christina found her faith. She saw the courage, the unwavering faith of martyred Christians and the patience in which they bore their torments. At no older than eleven years old, she sought out instruction in the Catholic faith and became baptized. Her father was furious. He threatened and pleaded with her to give up her faith but she refused, so he locked her in their house with the order to sacrifice and give incense to the gods. She broke his expensive gold and silver idols instead and threw them out the window for the poor. St. Christina's father had her brought before him in court. Her torture ensued which only intensified her prayer. She even told her father, “Do with me whatever you like, my dear Father. You can take my life, but the faith of Christ, you cannot tear out of my heart. My Saviour will strengthen me to suffer patiently all that you have threatened.” Her eventual martyrdom is too brutal to describe here.
St. Christina the Astonishing began to earn her moniker when she died from an epileptic seizure at the age of twentyone, only to wake up in the middle of her Funeral Mass. With everyone except for her older sister and the priest running out of the church, St. Christina flew to the rafters. She later told people she had gone to Purgatory and given a choice. Our Lord had told her she could enter Heaven or return to Earth and suffer the most frightful penances on behalf of the souls in Purgatory. She had a special grace from God to do that for the next fifty years. Many people thought her to be insane and she seemed to suffer from autism or a mental illness but she was a very charitable and holy woman.
Saints Christina, pray for us!
Fr. Christopher J. Pollard