Bl. Jacoba of Settesoli
Beatified: Pope John Paul II
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Blessed Jacoba of Settesoli was a follower of St. Francis of Assisi.
Jacoba dei Settsoli was born in Rome and married into a noble family. Her husband died when she was still young, leaving her as a widow. Shortly after, she sought to meet Francis.
Her opportunity came when he arrived in Rome, seeking permission to form his order. She listened to him preach and asked his advice on how to be charitable.
Francis suggested she remain with her family, so she became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis. She allowed her two sons to manage family affairs while she, working out of her house, devoted herself to performing acts of charity for others.
When Francis would visit Rome he would often stay with her and the two became friends. Francis often refered to her kindly as "Brother Jacoba."
Jacoba donated land to Francis and his followers from her family holdings in Trastevere. The land was dedicated for the use of the sick and lame.
When Francis died, Jacoba was present, by his request. She had prepared almond pastries for Francis, which were his favorite. Today, almond pastries are traditionally served on St. Francis' feast day, in recollection of Bl. Jacoba's gift to the dying saint.
Jacoba remained steadfast in her Christian devotion, performing acts of charity long after the passing of Francis. She died on February 8, 1239 and was buried near St. Francis. Her grave is in the crypt of the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. Her feast day is February 8.
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