Memorial of Blessed Jane Scopelli, July 9

Blessed Jane Scopelli is one those holy people that little can be written about. She was born in 1428 in Regio, Italy. Her parents were Simone and Caterina. From her youngest days, Jane desired to enter religious life. Her parents were firmly opposed to that idea. Jane waited and lived an austere and devout life at home.

When her parents died in 1480, she took the Carmelite habit while still living at home. A widow, with her two daughters, was the first to enter the community Jane had established.  For four years, from 1480 to 1484, they lived in the small house. In 1485, with the help of the local bishop, Jane was able to acquire a church and house in Regio that she transformed into a convent. She served the community as prioress while living an intense penitential life. Blessed Jane only accepted gifts and endowments to the community that were free of any conditions. She had a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Her community became known as the “White Nuns.” She lived in Regio until her death on July 9, 1491, and was buried in the garden of the convent. In 1492, her body was exhumed and found to be incorrupt.

She was named “Servant of God” in 1590 by Pope Alexander VI and beatified on August 24, 1771 by Pope Clements XIV.

It seems she lived a quiet and unassuming life, never far from where she was born and raised. Yet, Blessed Jane offers a truth to believers: don’t wait for the ideal moments but live the dream in the present moment. After her parents turned down her request to enter Carmel, she could have waited until her situation changed sometime in the future and then lived religious life. Instead, she lived the life of a religious at home after her parents said no instead of letting time slip by.  The ideal time was the now, the present day to pray, seek the Christ and grow in relationship with Him.

This is a true antidote to procrastination. Barrie, who wrote, Peter Pan, once said the most dangerous word ever discovered was “tomorrow”. Tomorrow I’ll get to exercise, call a friend, start helping in the parish, give more time to God in prayer….the list can get very long. Blessed Jane, in her response to her parents closing a door to her becoming a nun, was to live the life of prayer and a lover of Christ and not wait.

This present moment is what we are assured of by God to be lived with an intent and purpose. Instead of tomorrow, live now, forgive now, serve now, and seek the Christ now! Blessed Jane’s life is a reminder of how our life is to be lived. That seems like great advice for someone who lived such a quiet life, but a life filled with devotion and hunger for God.

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