Making Catholic Memories: Baking Blessed Imelda Hosts
There are so many things to look forward to in May! The end of the school year, graduations, sports, Mother’s Day and – for second graders across the archdiocese – the reception of their First Holy Eucharist! Though our oldest is 15, we still remember the day Justin received his First Holy Communion and all the emotions we felt. Like so many moments our children experience for the first time, it made us reflect on the gift of being able to receive Our Lord every single day! Blessed Imelda Lambertini, whose feast is celebrated on May 13, did the same for her Dominican community when she was just 11.
Blessed Imelda was born to a noble family in Italy in the early 1300s. From a very young age, her mother employed her assistance in caring for the poor and neglected in their community. When she was nine, Imelda had such a great desire to become a religious sister that her parents agreed to send her to live in a nearby Dominican convent. Soon after arriving at the convent, she became a favorite of many of the other sisters and developed an even stronger desire to receive Jesus in the Eucharist – something unheard of for such a young girl in those days. Though the chaplain and the prioress denied her persistent requests, the desire never left Imelda and she began begging the Lord directly.
One day, while praying the prayers of Thanksgiving after Mass with the other sisters, Imelda begged Jesus to come to her. She stayed in the chapel after the other sisters departed. When two sisters were sent by the prioress to retrieve the young girl for the meal, they were greeted by a miraculous site. There was Imelda kneeling in prayer as a glowing light floated in front of her, and at the center of that light was the Eucharist! Immediately, the sisters left and got the chaplain, who took it as a clear sign that Jesus had granted Imelda’s request and He wanted this young girl to receive Him into her body and soul. The chaplain gave Imelda her First Holy Communion. For a moment the sisters remained in thanksgiving with Imelda, then retreated to their meal. When they returned,
Imelda was still kneeling, but upon being touched, her body went limp, for she had died in pure ecstasy.
Imelda often said, “How is it possible to receive Jesus into one’s heart and not die?” For her, that was truly the case. Her heart had become so full of joy and rapture that it could not contain it.
What about us? Do we see our children receive their First Communion and remember what it is to receive Jesus into our hearts and souls each and every time He enters? Let us celebrate this saint and the great devotion she embodied by helping build that devotion in our homes.
PDF Communion Hosts: Blessed Imelda Communion Hosts
This article appeared in the May 2021 edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here.