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Saint Fina - Seraphina
Saint Fina - Seraphina

Saint Fina - Seraphina

Feast Day
Mar 12, 2013
Physically Challenged People
<p>St. Fina, also known as Seraphina, was born Fina dei Ciardi, in Gimignano, a village in Tuscany, Italy in 1238.&nbsp; She was the daughter of the Imperiera, a declined noble family.&nbsp; She lived all her life in humble house located in the historic center of the famous &ldquo;city of beautiful towers&rdquo;. &nbsp; In 1248, Fina&rsquo;s life was changed by a serious illness, which began to progressively paralyze her body.&nbsp; Her deep faith relieved her pain.&nbsp; She refused a bed and chose instead to lie on a wooden board.&nbsp; According to her legend, during her long sickness her body became attached to the wood board, and worms and rats fed on her flesh. &nbsp;</p> <p>During her illness, she lost her father, and later her mother died after a severe fall.&nbsp; In spite of her misfortune and extreme poverty, she thanked God and expressed a desire that her soul might separate from the body in order to meet Jesus Christ.&nbsp; Fina&rsquo;s immense devotion was an example to all the citizens of San Gimignano, who frequently visited her.&nbsp; Visitors were surprised to receive words of encouragement from a desperately ill young girl who was resigned to the Will of God.&nbsp; With her mother and father both gone, she was at the mercy of neighbors and a young girl that was her friend, to take care of her. &nbsp;</p> <p>On March 4, 1253 after five years of sickness and pain, being bound to a board she used as her bed, those around her were waiting for her passing away.&nbsp; During this time, St. Gregory the Great allegedly appeared in Fina&rsquo;s room and predicted that she would die on March 12<sup>th</sup>.&nbsp; Fina died on the predicted date, and she was only 15 years old.&nbsp; She was one of the most beautiful girls in her town, and the disease disfigured her to a point of being grotesque.&nbsp; She did pass on March 12, which at that time was the Feast Day of St. Gregory the Great, just as she predicted he told her. &nbsp;</p> <p>When Fina&rsquo;s body was removed from the pallet in which she had laid for over 5 years, the people who were there saw white violets bloom from the wood and smelt a fresh flower fragrance through the whole house.&nbsp; The violets grew out of the board on which she laid, and the violets also grew on the walls of San Gimignano, something that is still occurring to this day.&nbsp; For this reason, the white violets have been called throughout the world as the &ldquo;St. Fina Violets&rdquo;.&nbsp; As they transferred her body through town, the town&rsquo;s people shouted, &ldquo;The Young Saint is Dead&rdquo;. &nbsp;</p> <p>For the next several days, pilgrims went to the Pieve to see Fina&rsquo;s remains and in that same period, many miracles of healing took place.&nbsp; One person healed was her young friend, who had a hand paralyzed while caring for Fina during her illness, holding her head up.&nbsp; While she was near the body, the dead young girl cured her hand.&nbsp; At the exact moment of Fina&rsquo;s passing, all the bells of San Gimignano rang without anyone touching them.&nbsp; Many sick people who visited her grave during the following years were cured and some of these became some of the most fervent supporters of St. Fina.&nbsp; The decision of Fina to lie down on a wood table is still a mystery, but legend says she did it to offer her suffering for the conversion of sinners. &nbsp;</p> <p>Another legend tells that during a walk with two of her friends, she heard another young girl cry out.&nbsp; The young girl crying had broken a pitcher that her mother had given her in order to fill water from the well.&nbsp; While she stopped to play with the other children, she forgot the pitcher on the ground, which unfortunately rolled down and broke.&nbsp; Fina told her to arrange the pieces and put them under the water.&nbsp; The Pitcher became complete and full of water.&nbsp; Another miracle was Fina&rsquo;s neighbor, the man, a few years after Fina&rsquo;s death on March 12<sup>th</sup> stopped working to remember the poor young girl&rsquo;s passing, went to cut the wood and unfortunately hurt his leg.&nbsp; Suffering for his pain he asked forgiveness of St. Fina and was very sorry for not having respected the holy day of her passing.&nbsp; Then his cut disappeared, completely healed.&nbsp; Many miracles are attributed to St. Fina through writings, paintings, poems, and legend. &nbsp;</p> <p>St. Fina&rsquo;s Feast day is celebrated since 1481.&nbsp; In 1479, two years before her feast day being celebrated, she was implored to stop the plague.&nbsp; The plague stopped and this miracle occurred again in the same period of 1631, when the plague returned. &nbsp; The most important thing produced from St. Fina&rsquo;s intercession, is the hospital that took her name and was built in 1255.&nbsp; It was built thanks to the donations given at her tomb.&nbsp; The hospital gave housing to the old and poor, and pilgrims too.&nbsp; It became in the following century, one of the best in Tuscany.&nbsp; In the hospitals chapel, the original oak wood board where St. Fina lay down for five years, is preserved. &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Practical Take Away</strong></span></p> <p>St. Fina was a young girl born in Tuscany, Italy. She was one of the most beautiful girls in her town, and became paralyzed from an illness at the age of 10.&nbsp; The disease disfigured her greatly, and then she lost her parents.&nbsp; Her survival was dependant on her friend, who&rsquo;s arm became paralyzed from taking care of her and holding her head up, and the town&rsquo;s people who came to visit the young girl.&nbsp; She chose to lie on a board, rather than a bed during her illness, which lasted for five years.&nbsp; When she died, her body was grown fast to the board.&nbsp; When she was removed, instead of finding her decaying flesh, white violets suddenly grew from the board.&nbsp; The white violets grew on the stone walls throughout the city as well.&nbsp; The town folks named them &ldquo;Fina Violets&rdquo; and to this day, you can purchase them throughout the world, known as Fina Violets. &nbsp;</p>