Clelia Barbieri

Exploring the Life and Legacy of Clelia Barbieri: A Young Saint's Journey

Imagine being just 23 years old and achieving sainthood, becoming a beacon of unwavering faith and devoutness to the Catholic Church. Who was this young yet influential figure who marked a significant spot in the annals of Catholic history? Today, we delve into the fascinating story of Clelia Barbieri, a young woman whose steadfast devotion and dedication to her faith led to her ultimate canonization, making her the youngest saint in the history of the Church.

Early Life and Devotion

Born on February 13th, 1847 in Budrie, Italy, Clelia Barbieri's journey towards sainthood began at an early age. The daughter of humble parents Giuseppe Barbieri and Giacinta Nannetti, Clelia displayed a passion for the Catholic faith which was deeply ingrained in her from childhood. Despite her father's sudden death when she was just eight years old, Clelia's unwavering faith only strengthened, allowing her to see past her struggles and wholly commit herself to the teachings of the Church.

The Founding of a Religious Order

As Clelia Barbieri reached adulthood, her passion for service created the foundation of a religious order. Driven by her devoted commitment to her faith, she founded the Minims of Our Lady of Sorrows (Suore Minime dell’Addolorata) at the tender age of 21. Her new establishment focused on uplifting the poor, educating children in the faith, and overall aiding those in need.

A Life Cut Short Yet Immortalized

Despite her untimely death from tuberculosis at just 23, Clelia Barbieri left behind an indelible legacy. Her followers reported hearing her melodic voice posthumously during prayer sessions, which only reaffirmed their belief in her sanctity.

Lord, inspire us with the faith of Clelia Barbieri, who dedicated her life to serving your people and making your love known. May her patient endurance, her humility, and her chastity guide us in our daily lives and lead us closer to You. Amen.

Becoming a Saint

In recognition of her extraordinary virtues, her faith, and the miracles attributed to her, Clelia was beatified in October 1968 and canonized by Pope Paul VI on April 9th, 1989. Thus, she etched her name as the youngest saint in the chronicles of the Catholic Church, embodying the purity, innocence, and steadfastness of faith in its primal form.

Legacy and Influence of Clelia Barbieri

Today, Clelia Barbieri continues to inspire millions around the world. Her religious order, which she began with a few companions, has now grown to include numerous sisters across several continents, all following the same path of faith, selflessness, and devotion that Clelia upheld. Her life, though brief, serves as a beacon of hope and faith, reminding us all of the power of unwavering belief and love for God.

Celebrating Clelia Barbieri

Every year, on July 13th, the Church commemorates the feast of Saint Clelia Barbieri. It is a day for us to reflect on her life and legacy, renewing our commitment to service, faith, and love to one another, just as she did over a century ago.

O Saint Clelia, in your short life, you shone with the love of God. Pray for us, so that we too may live our lives in service of God and our fellowmen. Like you, may we find joy in doing God’s will, even amidst trials and tribulations. Amen.

In the vast canvas of Catholic saints, Clelia Barbieri stands out as a shining star. Her dedication, passion, and commitment to her faith serve as an inspiration to all. A look into her life is not merely an exploration of a saint’s journey, but a testament to how pure faith can make an extraordinary impact, no matter how brief our time on earth may be.

Zuppi: Omelia per Santa Clelia

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La vita di Santa Clelia

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Who was Clelia Barbieri and what is her significance in the context of Catholic saints?

Clelia Barbieri was an Italian saint born on February 13, 1847 in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. She is significant as the youngest founder of a religious order, founding the Little Sisters of the Mother of Sorrows at just 23 years old.

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Clelia Barbieri grew up in a devout Catholic family and from a very young age, showed a strong spiritual inclination. Her mother's death when Clelia was only eleven further influenced her decision to pursue a life dedicated to God.

During her short life, she made significant contributions to the Church and her community. With the guidance of her spiritual director, she initiated prayer groups and sewing circles to aid local poor people. These small communities eventually evolved into the Little Sisters of the Mother of Sorrows. This congregation served the poor and the sick and took care of orphaned children.

Barbieri died on July 13, 1870, at the age of 23, shortly after establishing her religious order. The members of her community reported hearing her voice after her death, a phenomenon that continues to be reported today. This led to her being nicknamed "the Saint who sings".

Clelia Barbieri was beatified in 1968 and canonized as a Saint by Pope Paul VI on October 9, 1989. Her feast day is celebrated on July 13. Today, the Little Sisters of the Mother of Sorrows continue to serve the less fortunate in various parts of the world. Saint Clelia Barbieri is a beacon of devotion, service, and compassion, embodying the ideals of religious commitment and love for humanity.

What are the notable works and miracles attributed to Saint Clelia Barbieri?

Born on February 13, 1847 in Italy, Saint Clelia Barbieri was the Founder of the Congregation of the Minims of Our Lady of Sorrows. She was known for her strong faith, dedication to serving the poor, and numerous miracles even after death.

Barely seventeen years old, Clelia felt a religious calling that led her to form a small community with other young women in her village. Despite facing hostility and ridicule from their community, they remained dedicated to their religious life. This community became the foundation of her future congregation. After the formal establishment of the congregation on September 1, 1876, this marked one of Saint Clelia Barbieri's notable works, as it continually provides spiritual and material support to needy communities up to the present day.

As for miracles attributed to Saint Clelia Barbieri, one of most significant occurred after her death on July 13, 1870. It was reported and authenticated by many witnesses that the voice of Clelia herself could be heard during community prayer, singing along or repeating the prayers. This phenomenon was not only heard by her congregation but also reported in other parts of Italy and in different countries, leading to widespread devotion.

Another miracle involves her deathbed promise to her fellow sisters in the last moments of her life. Clelia encouraged her sisters saying, "Be cheerful. From heaven, I will always be with you," a promise that led to an increased strength and growth of her congregation after her death.

Her miraculous interventions and the legacy she left through the formation of the Congregation led to her beatification by Pope Pius XII on October 27, 1947, and her canonization by Pope Paul VI on October 9, 1989. Through her life, she exemplified the virtues of humility, obedience, and charity, embodying the very principles she founded her congregation upon.

How did the life and teachings of Clelia Barbieri influence the Catholic Church and its followers?

Clelia Barbieri was a significant figure in the Catholic Church, who profoundly influenced its followers through her devout life and teachings. Born in 1847, she was an Italian nun, who became the foundress of the Congregation of the Minims of Our Lady of Sorrows. This itself is noteworthy, as it marked her as the youngest foundress of a religious congregation in the history of the Catholic Church - a task she undertook at the tender age of 23.

Clelia’s early years were marked by her remarkable piety. Born into poverty, she quickly became known for her deep spirituality and compassion for the needy. Despite her humble background, she dedicated her life to serving God and uplifting the distressed. She, along with other young women, led a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and worked tirelessly to comfort the sorrowful.

One of her teachings that greatly impacted the Catholic Church was her emphasis on experiencing Christ's passion through an understanding of human sorrows. Her congregation, the Minims, dedicated themselves to meditating on the Passion of Christ and offering consolation to those suffering in body and spirit. This injected a new vigor into the church's mission of charity and compassion.

In addition to this, Clelia Barbieri imbued the virtue of humility into her followers, teaching them that even in their poverty, they were privileged to serve God's people. Her teachings continue to inspire the Catholic community worldwide. They incarnate a message of love, service, and empathy that echoes in the church's outreach mission today.

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Clelia's life and teachings also challenged traditional gender roles within the Church. Despite being a woman in a male-dominated society, she didn't shy away from establishing a religious congregation. Her influential role underlines the importance of providing space for women to contribute towards the Church's spiritual and social missions.

The impact of Clelia Barbieri's work goes beyond her lifetime. She became a saint of the Catholic Church in 1989 and her feast day is celebrated on July 13th every year. Her enduring legacy continues to influence and inspire the Catholic world, both in terms of her profound teachings and her embodiment of resilient faith and compassion.

Can you elaborate on the process and journey of Clelia Barbieri’s canonization in the Catholic Church?

Clelia Barbieri, also known as the "Youngest Foundress in the History of the Church", is a notable figure within the realm of Catholic Saints. The journey to her canonization was a multi-step process that spanned over several years.

Born on February 13, 1847, in Italy, Clelia had a deep spiritual bond with God from an early age. Her mission began when she established a community of women, the **Minims of the Sorrowful Mother**, dedicated to prayer, contemplation, and solidarity with the poor. After her death on July 13, 1870, her cause for canonization slowly began.

The journey to sainthood in the Catholic Church typically involves four stages: Servant of God, Venerable, Blessed, and Saint. Each stage has meticulous steps which involve thorough investigations into the person's life, virtues, teachings, and miracles associated with them.

Clelia Barbieri's Cause for Canonization

Clelia Barbieri's cause of canonization was introduced in the Diocese of Bologna on July 23, 1930, sixty years after her death. This initiated her status as a **Servant of God**. This phase involved intense examination of her writings, teachings, and virtues. A tribunal was established to facilitate this investigation.

Having passed the diocesan phase of investigation, her case advanced onto the Vatican, and the historical consultants gave their approval to proceed on November 26, 1952. On April 27, 1954, the theological consultants followed suit. Pope Pius XII subsequently proclaimed her as **Venerable** on June 22, 1954, indicating that she had heroically lived the Christian virtues.

The Miracles for Beatification and Canonization

In order to be beatified and then canonized, miracles attributed to the intercession of the person are required to be verified. For Clelia Barbieri, the miracle leading to her beatification was the instantaneous cure of Maria Mazzotti from a tumorus disease in 1947, judged scientifically inexplicable. This miracle was approved by Pius XII on December 19, 1958.

After her beatification on April 27, 1961, another miracle was needed for her canonization. This was fulfilled in the miraculous healing of Angelina Guerra from a serious form of pulmonary tuberculosis in 1968. Pope John Paul II approved this second miracle in 1988.


After careful considerations, discussions and validation of miracles, Clelia Barbieri was **canonized** as a Saint by Pope John Paul II on April 9, 1989. Her feast day is celebrated on July 13th, the day of her death, which is considered her "birth" into heaven in Catholic tradition.

Clelia Barbieri's canonization underscores her profound spirituality, commitment to charity, and the veneration she has inspired among the faithful. It is a testament to the Catholic Church's recognition of her sanctity and eternal presence before God.

What are some traditions or celebrations within the Catholic community associated with Saint Clelia Barbieri?

Saint Clelia Barbieri is a highly revered figure within the Catholic community. Born in Italy in 1847, she was declared a saint by Pope Paul VI in 1989. Known for her deep devotion and commitment to her faith, Saint Clelia Barbieri founded the Minims of Our Lady of Sorrows, a religious congregation devoted to educating the poor and needy.

The Feast Day of Saint Clelia Barbieri is observed on July 13th each year, and this is one of the main celebrations associated with her. On this day, Catholics attend special church services or masses and might also organize feasts, processions or other religious gatherings in her honor.

In Emilia Romagna, Italy, where Saint Clelia was born and spent her life, there are particular traditions associated with her feast day. A notable event is the annual pilgrimage to her birthplace in the town of San Giovanni in Persiceto. Participants walk in prayerful reflection to honor the life and works of Saint Clelia Barbieri.

In addition, an annual celebration called the "Festa di Clelia" takes place in Italy. This event typically involves singing hymns, praying, and participating in processions. Many people will visit her shrine and pray for her intercession, particularly for issues related to family, since she had a significant focus on helping families during her lifetime.

Another common practice among believers involves invoking Saint Clelia Barbieri’s intercession for the sick and the suffering, given her dedication to alleviate the suffering of those in need. It is said that miracles have occurred through these petitions, further cementing her place as a beloved saint within the Catholic community.

Therefore, the key ways that Saint Clelia Barbieri is honored within the Catholic community include the observance of her feast day, pilgrimages to her birthplace, annual festivals in her honor, and prayers for her intercession.