Imelda Lambertini

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Blessed Imelda Lambertini
Born 1322
Bologna, Italy
Died May 12, 1333
Valdipietra, Bologna
Honored in
Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 1826
Feast May 12
Attributes Incorruptibility
Patronage First communicants

Blessed Imelda Lambertini (1322 – May 12, 1333) is the patroness of First Holy Communicants.

Early life[edit]

Imelda was born in 1322 in Bologna, the only child of Count Egano Lambertini[1] and Castora Galuzzi. Her parents were devout Catholics and were known for their charity and generosity to the underprivileged of Bologna. As a very young girl, Imelda had a burning desire to receive Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist. On her fifth birthday, she requested this privilege; however the custom at the time was that children did not receive their First Holy Communion until age 12. Imelda was sorely disappointed but knew the time would come soon enough. She would sometimes exclaim: "Tell me, can anyone receive Jesus into his heart and not die?"

As time went by, her desire for the Blessed Sacrament grew, and she loved Christ more than ever. To show this love, she joined a cloistered Dominican community at age nine in Valdipietra, near Bologna, which was unusual to do for a girl at her age. There it would be easier to wait for her First Communion, in deep prayer and conversation with God.

On May 12, 1333, the day of the vigil of the Ascension, she finally got her wish. As she knelt in prayer the "Light of the Host" was witnessed above her head by the Sacristan, who then fetched the Priest so he could see. After seeing this miracle, the priest felt compelled admit her to receiving the Eucharist. Immediately after receiving it, Imelda fell to the floor and died in complete ecstasy. Her remains are kept in Bologna at the Church of San Sigismondo, beneath the wax effigy of her likeness. There still remains some controversy as to whether Blessed Imelda can be classified as incorrupt. Many argue that contrary to popular belief, she is not truly incorrupt. Many other sources, including the Church of San Sigismondo, steadfastly claim that she is incorrupt.


Lambertini was beatified by Pope Leo XII in 1826.


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