and merciful God,
who glorified the life of the blessed Eustochia,
hidden entirely in Christ as it was,
grant through her intercession and our imitation of her,
that, buried with Christ in this world,
we may deserve to rise
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
In God’s plan, every child is a gem,
meant to enrich not only its own family but all of humanity.
So when, in the early 1430s, the princely Romano-Colonna
family welcomed a new daughter, they named the baby Smaragda, a
Sicilian word meaning “emerald.” And
a gem little Smaragda proved to be, not only on the natural level,
but also on the spiritual level.
Bright, 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
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.
Desiring to live an even stricter form of Clarian life,
Eustochia sought permission from the Pope to found a monastery where
the primitive Rule of