Mondaino 1791-1806

Blessed Elisabetta moved with her family to Mondaino when she was five years old. It was more convinient for Giambattista, Elisabetta’s father to do his work as an administrator in Mondaino where his property and the monastery of the Poor Clares that he administered were located. This move enabled Elisabetta to grown up in a very religious environment and to take advantage of the presence of the prestigious religious institutions in the area.

Around the age of nine, Elisabetta entered the monastery of the Poor Clares as a boarding student and soon made her first communion. Soon after, she made her first Communion and of that glorious day, we have this recount: ” After she had offered her deepest love and thanksgiving to Jesus, she kissed her parents who were deeply moved and respectfully greeted the abbess, kissing her dress. Then with radiant joy, she told them that form this time, her tongue and her soul were worthy of reverence, because they had been sanctified by the touch of Jesus, the soul’s holy spouse.”

Thought still very young she loved to be alone, in meditation, to spend her time with her beloved Jesus. She desired so much to grow in virtue that it is said she chose one of her friends with whom she would be in competition to see who could love Jesus more.

Mondaino 1810-1824

In 1810, after having enjoyed three years of convent life, Elisabetta was forced to abandon the monastery and return to her paternal home because of the Napoleonic invasion. For her this was a time of suffering, but also a time that prepared her even more for the trials that she would eventually endure. For a time she continued to live a monastic lifestyle, accepting this forced change in her life with a great spirit of faith and of abandonment to God’s will. But she was certain of her vocation to a more perfect life and was trustingly waiting for the Lord to provide her with signs and the means to accomplish it.

In the meantime, new events contributed to making this period of waiting even more painful. In 1813, her only sister Dorotea died at the age of 20. This death deeply affected her parents, her brother, and especially Elisabetta herself – she had lost her confidante and her moral support. Moreover, being the only daughter left, she must have felt a greater responsibility to be close to her parents. It was also at this time that she developed a certain ailment and a general weakness that, according to the eulogy at her funeral, would accompany her for the rest of her life.

These trials could have been the cause of her loosing to some degree her initial fervor, adapting more to the common style of life in society. She abandoned her domestic and “voluntary solitude” and gave herself more that usual to recreation and conversation with companions of her own age. But in her heart she felt distaste for this way of living and in 1818 she wrote:” My poor life. How much penance you need to do? How many tears you need to shed?”

The more God enriches your heart, the more sensitive He makes it, but also the more He demands that it be absolutely detached for love of Him.
Blessed Elisabetta Renzi
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