and merciful God, who glorified the life of the blessed Eustochia,
In God’s plan, every child is a gem, meant to enrich not only its
own family but all of humanity.
when, in the early 1430s, the princely Romano-Colonna family welcomed a
new daughter, they named the baby Smaragda, a Sicilian word meaning
And a gem
little Smaragda proved to be, not only on the natural level, but also on
the spiritual level.
devout, generous, the girl realized early on that, in spite of her
father’s desire that she marry well and advance the family’s social
standing, she was called to belong totally to Christ, the
While still a teen-ager, Smaragda entered the local convent of Poor
Clares, where she was clothed and received her religious name, Eustochia.
Dedicated and prayerful, known for her intense Eucharistic devotion
and her generous service to the sick, Eustochia set down deep roots in the
life of the Spirit.
to live an even stricter form of Clarian life, Eustochia sought permission
from the Pope to found a monastery where the primitive Rule of
Her cult was approved in 1782, and she was canonized by Pope John
Paul II on