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October 27

St. Emilina of Boulancourt - October 27

Saint Emilina of Boulancourt
Patron Saint of Single Lay Women
(1115 – 1178)

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Saint Emilina of Boulancourt

Her Life

Emilina of Boulancourt, also known as Emeline or Hemelina, was born in 1115 in France. Emilina was a devout soul who deeply desired to do God’s will. She was led to the male Cistercian Abbey of Boulancourt in Longeville, France, but did not gain entrance into the community. Here, with the monks approval, Emilina settled in a barn of Perte-Seche, which belonged to the Abbey. There, Emilina led a solitary life a few kilometers from the Abbey and followed the Cisterian rule as much as she could, including the sharing in the hours of labor. She used to spin very industriously, meditating all the while on the Psalms.

Emilina dedicated her life to God and embraced a life of intense prayer and penance. Emilina developed a reputation for her deep prayer life, fasting, and strict self-imposed penances. She was known to wear a pointed chain under her habit, walk barefooted throughout the year, and fast from food and liquids for three days a week. These austere practices were a testament to her great devotion to God and her commitment to self-mortification. Many persons sent her offerings of food, but she never would taste it. Emilina ordered the crows and ravens to depart from the neighboring wood because they disturbed her and they obeyed her.

Word of Emilina’s holiness and spiritually transformative capabilities spread rapidly, drawing numerous pilgrims to consult with her on matters of prayer and holiness. Her prophetic gifts soon attracted the attention of others. Sometimes she prophesied about visitors before they arrived. Although she had a reputation for accurately predicting the future, her main concern was the visitor’s conversion and connection with God. Humility marked her interaction with everyone and she never used her heavenly gifts for selfish gain.

Her Death

Emilina died on 1178 in Longeville, France of natural causes and was buried under the altar of the Couvent des Dames, attached to the Abbey of Boulancourt. There a perpetual flame was maintained at her tomb. Then, when the chapel was destroyed, her remains were transferred, along with Saint Asceline and Saint Gossuin, to the Church of Boulancourt. Sadly, nothing remains of the tombs after the violent excesses of the French Revolution.

Since Saint Emilina of Boulancourt neither married nor professed vows with any religious community, she is known as the patron saint of single lay women.

Born :                  1115 (unknown exact date) in France

Died:                   1178 (unknown exact date) in Longeville, France

Beatified:           Pre-Congregation

Canonized:        Pre-Congregation

Feast Day:          October 27

Patron Saint:    Single Laywomen

Source:

Reflection 

Saint Emilina of Boulancourt lived a life of faith and devotion in a simple life of solitude. She did not become a nun or start a religious order. But she dedicated her life to God and embraced a life of intense prayer and penance. Word of Emilina’s holiness and spiritually transformative capabilities spread rapidly, drawing numerous pilgrims to consult with her on matters of prayer and holiness. Her example teaches us that even in the quiet moments of our lives, our faithfulness to God and others can have a profound impact.

Like Saint Emilina of Boulancourt, you may also live a quiet life and may not be a priest or a nun or doing “big things”. So, how can your simple holy acts of faithfulness be a shining example of your love for God bringing peace to someone you meet today?

Prayers

Saint Emilina of Boulancourt,

, as a martyr for your Christian beliefs, I humbly come seeking your intercession and guidance. Your unwavering devotion to Christ and your willingness to give your life for your faith inspires me.

May you intercede for me as I pray for the courage to live a holy life, that God’s hand guide my decisions and that his mercy be extended
when I seek my own glory instead of yours.

I pray for the wisdom to know God’s will for me, and like Our Blessed Mother, I ask for the strength to say yes.

May I find you, God, in every person I meet, and may my life so shine forth your goodness and love
that each person may be led to you through Jesus, your Son, who is Lord, forever and ever. Amen.

Saint Emilina of Boulancourt, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

A Dictionary Of Saintly Women, Volume 1 by Agnes B. C. Dunbar – B. Hemelina

Aleteia – Meet the patron saint of single lay women

AnaStpaul – Saint of the Day – 27 October – Saint Emeline of Boulancourt (c 1115-c 1178)

Order of Carmelites – Memorial Of St. Emilina of Boulancourt

Our Sunday Visitor Encyclopedia of Saints

The Saint Challenge – St. Emilina of Boulancourt – October 27

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