Blessed Imelda Lambertini

Bl. Imelda Lambertini (1322–1333) was born to a noble and devout family in Bologna, Italy. As a child she developed a great love for prayer, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and the Holy Eucharist. She spent much of her time in the Dominican monastery praying with the nuns, and at nine years of age requested to enter there as a postulant. Her parents and the nuns allowed her to enter, however, in that era children her age were not permitted to receive Holy Communion. Imelda repeatedly pleaded to receive Communion, but each time she was denied. Nevertheless, she developed a close relationship with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. When the feast of the Ascension approached, Imelda begged to make her First Holy Communion on this feast. Again, she was denied. On the Vigil of the Feast of the Ascension she was in the chapel praying, as usual, as the other Sisters received Holy Communion. Afterwards a glowing host was seen suspended in the air above the child. The priest understood this as a sign that the child should be permitted to receive, and he ministered the Holy Eucharist to her. Imelda remained kneeling in prayer in thanksgiving as the nuns left the chapel. When they returned for her, they found her just as they had left her, but her body was lifeless. It was understood that Imelda died of pure ecstatic joy after receiving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, as she had so ardently desired. Bl. Imelda Lambertini is the patron saint of First Communicants. Her feast day is May 12th.
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