Blessed Mary de Bagnesiis (1514-1577) was born into a wealthy family in Florence, Italy. But money did not protect her from severe mistreatment at the hands of her foster-mother, who ignored and underfed her when she was a child. Mary suffered from physical maladies as a result for many years.
However, she enjoyed visiting a sister who was a Dominican nun, and she became a pious young woman who hoped to also enter religious life. She was so shocked when her father arranged a marriage for her that she broke down and became bedridden. For many years, she suffered from physical pain, some of which was caused by the quack remedies prescribed by the “doctors” that her father sent to care for her.
But Mary bore her sufferings with great patience, and she became a great peacemaker and consoler for those who came to visit her. She almost died several times, but she also experienced spiritual ecstasies. As a result of her devotion to the apostle, Saint Bartholomew, she took his name as her own and became known as Mary Bartholomea. After forty-five years as an invalid, she died in the year 1577.
Blessed Mary Bartholomea, help me to accept physical difficulties with Christ’s peace.