mercredi 28 décembre 2016

Bienheureuse MATTHIA (MATTIA) NAZZAREI di MATELICA, abbesse clarisse

Bienheureuse Matthia Nazzarei

Abbesse (13ème s.)

Sœur bénédictine puis clarisse, abbesse pendant 40 ans du couvent Sainte-Madeleine des Clarisses à Matelica dans les Marches en Italie.

Béatifiée en 1756.

À Matelica dans les Marches, vers 1300, la bienheureuse Matthia Nazzarei, abbesse du couvent des Clarisses de ce lieu.

Martyrologe romain

Mattia Nazzarei


Mattia serait née vers 1253 à Matelica (Marches, Italie CE), fille unique du comte Gualtiero et de Sibilia Nazzarei (ou Nazzareni).

A dix-huit ans, renonçant à toutes les propositions d’héritage et de mariage, elle alla se présenter à l’abbesse des Clarisses, qui lui suggéra d’attendre un peu, que son père acceptât ce changement d’orientation.

Mattia pénétra dans l’église des Clarisses, se tailla les cheveux et s’enfila une vieille bure pour se consacrer totalement à Dieu. Son père, qui venait la chercher et la vit dans cet état, n’osa plus la contrarier. Difficile, devant une telle résolution, de refuser à la jeune fille d’entrer dans le monastère.

En 1271, par-devant notaire, elle renonça à tout son héritage familial, le partageant entre le monastère et les pauvres.

En 1279, elle y fut élue abbesse, et le resta quarante ans.

Elle était si sensible aux événements douloureux des autres, qu’on l’appela mère de la charité.

Mattia mourut en 1320, le 28 décembre, comme elle l’avait anoncé,. A sa mort, tout le couvent fut envahi d’un céleste parfum et enveloppé d’une grande lumière. Tous les habitants de l’endroit purent le constater.

Depuis 1758, un liquide mystérieux et parfumé s’est dégagé de son corps à chaque fois qu’on procéda à une reconnaissance de ses reliques.

On aurait rouvert le procès de canonisation en 1893.

Le Martyrologe la mentionne au 28 décembre.

Blessed Matthia dei Nazzarei

Also known as
  • Mattia
  • Matthias Nazarei

Born to the nobility, the only child of Count Gualtiero Nazarei and his wife Sibilla, from her youth Matthia preferred a simple life and rejected all the pomp of court life. When her father threatened her with an arranged marriage, she fled to the convent of Santa Maddalena at Metalica, Italy and became a Benedictine nun. Served as abbess of the house for 40 years. The convent later adopted the rule of the Poor Clares, and so Matthia is often listed as a Poor Clare. In 1758 the house was re-named Beata Matthias in her honour.


Blessed Matthia Nazzarei

(Beata Matthis Nazzarei)

Feast Day – December 27

The family of the Nazzarei was one of the wealthiest and most distinguished of Matelica in the Italian province of the March. Matthia, however, esteemed virtue and nobility of soul more than all worldly nobility, and resolved, for love of Christ, to consecrate herself to His service in the state of virginity. When, therefore, her father planned to marry her to a young noblemen, Matthia firmly refused, declaring she was already espoused to the heavenly Bridegroom. Her father endeavored to force her into the marriage, but she fled from home to a convent of the Poor Clares where he aunt was the abbess. When her aunt hesitated to receive the fugitive, Matthia cut off her hair, and, laying aside her expensive garments, put on the first old habit she found.

Thus attired, she met her father in the reception room of the convent, when the enraged man appeared with the determination of bringing her back by force. Matthia dealt so gently and yet so convincingly with her father that he willingly gave his consent to her entrance into the convent.

After receiving the habit, Matthia showed such zeal and such perfection in virtue, not only during the year of probation, but afterwards as well, that when the abbess died a few years later, the sisters unanimously chose Matthia as her successor, despite her youthful years. The bishop of Camerino gladly gave his approval to their choice.

The youthful abbess looked upon herself not as the first in rank but rather as the lowliest among her sisters. She always picked out the lowliest tasks for herself. She was a shining example of all the religious virtues. She so loved to obey others that she made obedience pleasant to her subjects and never experienced any opposition from her sisters. A true daughter of St Clare, she loved poverty and observed it faithfully. She turned over the rich inheritance she received from her father to the poor and to pious projects, not retaining even the smallest part of it for herself.

To preserve her virtue from every shadow of impurity, she was very austere with herself throughout life, observing fasts and practicing rigorous corporal penance. She gained strength to persevere on the way of perfection by her habit of uninterrupted prayer.

Almighty God granted her the gifts of prophecy and of miracles, and the sick and the oppressed came from far and near to seek counsel and assistance from her.

Matthia lived thus for more than forty years until the day of her death, which she had foretold. On that day she gathered the sisters about her, fervently admonished them to persevere in chastity, poverty, and obedience, and in holy charity.

On the feast of the Holy Innocents in the year 1300, she gave her pure soul back to God. At her grave many crippled people received the health of their limbs again, the blind received their sight and the deaf their hearing. Pope Clement XIII and Pope Pius VI approved the annual celebration of her feast.
In 1536 the body was exhumed to be examined. Not only was the body incorrupt, but was found to be sweating profusely. In 1756 repairs were being made to the chapel, and the body was again examined. This time the saints body was still incorrupt, but also giving off a sweet, indiscribable fragrance. In 1758 a "blood-fluid" was seen coming from the saint's body, especially the hands and feet.

from The Franciscan Book of Saints, edited by Marion Habig, OFM

December 28

Blessed Mattia Nazarei

Mattia Nazarei was born on March 1, 1253 in Matelica, a charming small town of region Marche. In the same year, on August 11, Saint Clare died in Assisi, just few kilometres from Matelica. The name "Mattia" means in Hebrew: "given by God", and it was a perfect choice, a prediction of Her shining life. Mattia's parents were Guarniero Gentile and Sibilla Ottoni, they both belonged to noble, rich and religious families. After a merry childhood, her parents sought to force her into a marriage with a rich and noble young man, Pietro dei Conti Gualtiero, but Mattia firmly refused, because she had already answered to Christ's call.
She asked leave to enter a Poor Clares' convent, where her aunt was abbess but, unfortunately, the abbess was afraid of her father's reaction and tried to dissuade Mattia from taking hurried decisions. The young girl decided to follow St.Clare's and St.Agnes' courageous examples, bravely defying her family: she cut her hair and wore an old habit, praying Christ to help her, then she presented herself to the Community, declaring that she wanted to lead the religious life.

Her father had to resign himself to it and Mattia officially consecrated herself to Our Lord on August 10, 1271, the eve of St. Clare's feast. Even during Her novitiate, Her model behaviour won her sister's favour and they always tried to follow Her bright example. She unceasingly prayed, night and day, and always asked for the most menial tasks, in spite of her noble birth.

At the age of 26, she was appointed abbess of the convent and occupied this position until her death. She handled with skill her burden of responsibilities, gaining a great glory. Not only did the spiritual life of her sisters improve during her abbacy, but also their physical comfort, because Mattia was an intelligent and practical woman. Collecting offerings, she rebuilt the church and enlarged the convent, that was too small for holding the growing number of young girls that were carried away by Mattia's example and asked to join the Second Order of St. Francis. She was nicknamed "Mother of Charity", because her charity, love and compassion, especially toward the afflicted and miserable, knew no bounds. Her prayers and advice saved many souls from dangers. She made a secret pact with God, so she imposed upon herself voluntary penances, in exchange for the conversion of some inveterate sinners. Even behind the convent's grating, she spread her light, and all the people who could talk with her, always retained an indelible memory of this edifying experience.

Blessed Mattia died on December 28, 1320, and was declared Blessed by Clement XIII in 1765. Since then, new miracles occurred, therefore her case is under examination in Rome. Few hours before dying, she serenely predicted her death to her sisters: she gave them her blessing, urging them to observe Chastity, Obedience and Charity and exhorting them to love each other, because "God is love". Mattia promised to her sorrowful sisters: "I'm not going to abandon this convent, I'll always watch over it!".

When Mattia died, a large ray of light wrapped up her body, floodlighting the whole convent. She exhaled a scent of surpassing sweetness, filling the air all around. The rumor quickly spread to the town and her fellow-citizens ran to gaze at her for the last time, to touch her saint body and to cut small pieces from her habit.

Soon miracles occurred, for many people in ill health were cured. Against the public opinion, the nuns buried her in a private place, but people insisted on a more worthy tomb, that they could freely visit and where they could express their devotion to her. The sisters repented that they had interred her aside, and asked permission to exhume her. Mattia was exhumed eighteen days after her death, but her body was found to be incorrupt and exhaled a delicious odor. A learned physician, Mastro Bartolo, closely observed and touched Mattia's body, then he cut her skin, intending to embalm her. He stopped immediately, because a great deal of live blood came out from her veins. He said: "This is a miracle! A dead body can't give out blood in this way, all the more because it has been buried for so many days!". Consequently, Mattia's body was put inside a beautiful urn, placed in the "cornu epistolae" of the high altar, at a safe distance from the floor and sheltered by a grating (FIRST TRANSFER).

During the centuries, the rumour spread beyond the borders of the town, and a growing number of pilgrims came to visit the Blessed's body from every part of the country. In 1536, to find a better and more comfortable placing inside the convent's church, Mattia's urn was moved from her original place. (SECOND TRANSFER).

On December 22, 1758, it was moved again and placed under Saint Cecilia's altar, the present right side altar of the Church. (THIRD TRANSFER).

In 1765, when Mattia was declared Blessed, the altar's name was changed into "Blessed Mattia's altar". Her incorrupt body has always been in her church since January 15, 1320, with the exception of few days, from October 6 until December 31, 1811, when Napoleon's soldiery sacrilegiously stole her Blessed body and carried it to Macerata. In this occasion, it was exposed to the weather, so dampness and other damaging elements started a process of deterioration. Therefore, in 1973, F.Antonio Ricciardi, O.F.M.Conv., dealt with the delicate work of disinfection and preservation of the Blessed's body, putting an end to that destructive process, and avoiding further damages to Her flesh and Her bones. Finally, Bl. Mattia's body was put inside a new and more beautiful urn.

In 1536, during the "second transfer", a reddish sweat began to pour from Mattia's body, and the Poor Clares tried in vain to wipe it with linen towels.

Nowadays, her body and her relics still give out this liquid and, in 1972, the forensic scientists of the University of Camerino attested that it is blood.

In 1756, 437 years after her death, the coffin was opened for some juridical examinations and a sweet scent came from her still incorrupt body. In 1758, during the third transfer, the blood sweat poured again from Mattia's body, and it soaked a lot of towels.

During the following years, her body was examined more than once, but always in the presence of ecclesiastical authorities and forensic scientists: the blood sweat appeared again, soaking towels, pieces of cloth, her wimple and her habit. These precious towels, drenched with her blood and cut in small pieces, are still distributed as relics, and sometimes the reddish liquid poured out from the dried bloodstains.


Blessed Matthia dei Nazzarei, Abbess (AC)

Born in Metalica, March of Ancona, Italy; died 1213; cultus confirmed in 1756. Matthia received the Benedictine veil at the convent of Santa Maddalena at Metalica, of which she became abbess- -a position that she held for 40 years. At a later date the convent adopted the rule of the Poor Clares, and for this reason Blessed Matthia is often called a Poor Clare. She was very strong- willed and, by various accounts, is said to continue to manifest herself in her shrines (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

Beata Mattia Nazarei (Nazzareni) Badessa clarissa

Matelica, Macerata, 1 marzo 1253 - 28 dicembre 1320

La beata Mattia dei nobili de Nazareni di Matelica, ricusato il matrimonio si ritirò in monastero e professò la regola di santa Chiara. Per la sua grande prudenza e per le sue elette virtù fu per 40 anni Madre Abbadessa, diventando il modello e la madre buona delle sue consorelle. Il suo digiuno fu quasi per perpetuo. Devotissima della passione di Gesù, fu chiamata al gaudio eterno il 28 dicembre del 1320.

Martirologio Romano: A Matelica nelle Marche, beata Mattia Nazzareni, badessa dell’Ordine delle Clarisse.

Il primo marzo 1253, dai coniugi Sibilla e Gualtiero della nobile famiglia Nazzareni di Matelica (MC), nacque la piccola Mattia. Fin dai suoi primi anni il suo cuore si orientò verso Dio, infatti, nonostante le aspirazioni paterne fossero di maritarla con Piero dei Conti Gualtiero, la beata Mattia scelse di rinunciare al matrimonio e al ricco patrimonio familiare per divenire figlia di Santa Chiara. A diciotto anni entrò nel monastero di Santa Maria Maddalena e si presentò alla Badessa pregandola di accettarla fra le Clarisse. La Badessa , temendo le ire del padre di Mattia, la convinse a far ritorno a casa, in attesa del beneplacido paterno. Mattia non si persuase alle ragioni della Badessa e si ritirò nell'oratorio a pregare. Trovata per caso, in un cantuccio una vecchia tonaca la indossò, si recise le bionde trecce e prostratasi dinanzi all'immagine del Crocifisso chiese aiuto al Signore. Quando arrivò nel monastero il padre Gualtiero, rimase colpito dalla determinazione della figlia e desistette dal proposito di riportarla a casa. Iniziò così per Mattia il suo noviziato improntato alla preghiera, al digiuno e alla dedicazione alle opere più umili del monastero, divenendo ben presto modello per le religiose già osservanti della Santa Regola. Il 10 agosto 1271, davanti al notaio fece la rinuncia del suo patrimonio donando parte ai poveri e parte al monastero ed emise la Professione Solenne. Nel 1279, morta la Badessa, la comunità all'unanimità elesse Suor Mattia, per la lodevole condotta, la pietà ed lo zelo. Suor Mattia esercitò tale carica per quarant'anni consecutivi, cioè fino alla sua morte. Durante il suo governo Suor Mattia condusse a termine due imprese materiali, assai ardue se si pensa che la comunità viveva in estrema povertà: la chiesa ed il monastero. La chiesa era troppo piccola ed il monastero troppo angusto per accogliere le numerose giovani che, dietro l'esempio e la fama di Mattia, chiedevano di vivere la Regola di Santa Chiara. Suor Mattia era tanto sensibile alle sventure del prossimo da essere chiamata "madre della carità" ed era sempre pronta a consolare gli afflitti con parole che recavano pace e serenità. Dopo 48 anni di incessante preghiera , di penitenze e di dedizione al prossimo, Suor Mattia presagì il giorno e l'ora della sua morte. Era il 28 dicembre 1320, la Beata aveva 67 anni. Era appena spirata, quando Dio manifestava già con nuovi prodigi la gloria della sua sposa fedele. Il corpo della beata emanò una fragranza di Paradiso, da inondare tutto il monastero, avvolto in un fascio di luce da richiamare l'attenzione dei concittadini che corsero a vedere lo straordinario fenomeno. Essi videro in mezzo a tanto splendore una lucentissima stella, che con il suo raggio metteva capo al corpo della Beata, come a testimoniare la sua santità. Il 27 luglio 1765 il papa Clemente XIII approvò il decreto di beatificazione. 

I prodigi che la Beata andava operando le crearono una fama, che varcò i confini di Matelica e causarono un continuo accorrere di fedeli. Questo crescente afflusso di pellegrini lungo il corso dei secoli determinò tre traslazioni del venerabile corpo, per meglio destinarle nella sua chiesa un posto di privilegio. Ad ogni traslazione il corpo della Beata e le sue reliquie emanarono un prodigioso Umore Sanguigno, fenomeno che si ripeté anche ad ogni ricognizione cadaverica. 
I panni macchiati dall'Umore Sanguigno, divisi in pezzetti , vengono ancora oggi distribuiti fra i molti devoti della Beata come reliquie in segno di protezione.

Autore: Elisabetta Nardi