Saint Fina was known for her act of perseverance. Even while faced withchallenges, she remained calm and trusted the Lord.
Saint Fina, also called Serafina or Saraphina, was born in 1238 in SanGimignano, Italy. Her parents were Cambio and Imperiera Ciardi. Herfamily were said to have been of noble descent but had gone through aseries of unfortunate events that had left them impoverished.
Saint Fina was said to have been a very beautiful and intelligible childwhile growing up. She had shown a special kind of love for God and hadexhibited this love by giving to the needy even while she lacked.
Some historical accounts described Saint Fina as a recluse. She wastaught basic crafts and was said to have spent her day sewing.
Saint Fina only left her home to go to the Mass. She was stronglydevoted to the Blessed Virgin and spent most of her time praying even asa child.
Circa 1248, when Saint Fina was around ten years old, she came down witha sudden illness. This illness ate her insides, deteriorating her bodyand paralyzing her limbs. Around this time, Fina’s father passed away,leaving her and her mother all alone.
She was in constant pain but did not let that influence her countenancetowards people and life in general. If anything, her faith in Goddeepened as she believed that she was going through this for a reason.
Dedication and Devotion
Saint Fina chose to do away with the little comfort that her mothercould provide. Instead of a sickbed, she chose to lay on an oak plank.
Because of her illness, Saint Fina could only lay on one side of herbody. This caused the sores on her body to fuse with the plank pallet.Her body was attacked by worms and insects, her flesh rot and still, shedid not complain.
Her mother managed to provide for both of them by working or begging onthe streets. This caused her to leave Fina alone for long hours at astretch. Fina took this in good faith, remained joyful, and nevergrumbled.
Sometime after Fina’s affliction began, her mother passed away. Thus,the little care that Fina received was gone too.
Saint Fina remained devoted to God and spent her days praying, askingfor the intercession of Saints. She thirsted for the day that her soulwould be removed from her body.
It was in this period that she started to show an immense reverence forSaint Gregory the Great. Gregory was also afflicted by illness duringhis time and she took strength in the fact that like her, he persevered.
Saint Fina survived on the off-hand attention shown to her by herneighbors. Although they cared, they were irritated by the sores of herdestroyed body and refused to touch her. This caused her illness toprogress severely.
Find was taken care of by her friend and nurse Beldia though hersickness worsened.
On the 4th of March, 1253, while praying to God, Saint Gregory appearedto Fina and told her to rejoice because she would be joining the angelsin eight days.
Death and Canonization
As predicted, Saint Fina died on the 12th of March, 1253. She was 15years old.
After her death, miracles were reported to have followed her. When herbody was said to have been lifted off the pallet that it had rested forfive years, the people could see a growth of white violets. Her roomalso smelled like flowers.
When Saint Fina’s body was being transported, her nurse Beldia held ontoher hand. It is reported that Beldia’s arm that had become paralyzedfrom years of supporting Fina’s body suddenly gained healing. This wasone among the various miraculous healing around her body.
Saint Fina was never properly canonized. She is called Blessed Fina bymany. However, she is celebrated on the 12th of March, which is herofficial feast day, and the 1st Sunday of August.
5 Interesting Facts About St. Fina
- Did you know that White Violets are sometimes called Saint Fina’s
flowers? The flowers still grow on the walls of San Gimignano
- Did you know that church bells rang unattended while Saint Fina’s
body was carried through the streets?
- Did you know that Saint Fina is the Patron Saint of disabled people
- Did you know that a sick person who visited Saint Fina’s grave even
after many years was cured?
- Did you know that there is a hospital dedicated to Saint Fina? It
caters to the old, the poor, and even pilgrims.
Prayer to St. Fina
Glorious Saint Seraphina, beloved daughter of Mary and Jesus, althoughin great pain, you served God with humility and confidence.You persevered until death and gained the crown of eternal life. Now youenjoy the beatific vision of God in Heaven.Dear Saint Seraphina, make my troubles your own. Speak a word for me tothe Immaculate Heart of Mary to obtain by her powerful intercession thegrace I yearn for so ardently.Please obtain for me from God the graces I hope for from the InfiniteGoodness of our Blessed Lord, especially (mention your petition).Saint Seraphina, pray for me and for all who implore your assistance.Amen.