St Fina the Daughter of Cambio Ciardi and Imperiera was born in San Gimignano in 1238, Her family was declined noble family, she lived all her existence in a humble house located in the historic centre of the famous “city of beautiful towers”
Fina's immense devotion was an example to all the citizens of San Gimignano, who frequently visited her. Visitors were surprised to receive words of encouragement from a desperately ill young girl who was resigned to the will of God. On March 4, 1253, after five years of sickness and pain, her nurses Beldia and Bonaventura were waiting for her to die. Suddenly, Saint Gregory the Great allegedly appeared in Fina’s room and predicted that she would die on the 12th of March. Fina died on the predicted date at the age of 15.
Fina was attacked by a sudden complication of diseases. Her head, hands, eyes, feet and internal organs were affected and paralysis supervened. She lost her good looks and became a miserable object. Desiring to be like our Lord on the cross, for six years she lay on a plank in one position, unable to turn or to move. Her mother had to leave her for hours while she went to work or beg, but Fina never complained. Although in terrible pain she always maintained serenity and with her eyes fixed upon the crucifix she kept on repeating,"It is not my wounds but thine, O Christ, that hurt me".
Fresh trouble befell her. Her mother died suddenly and Fina was left utterly destitute. Except for one devoted friend Beldia she was now so neglected that it was clear she could not live long, dependent on the casual attentions of poor neighbors who shrank from contact with her loathsome sores. Someone had told her about St. Gregory the Great and his sufferings, and she had conceived a special veneration for him. She used to pray that he, who was so much tried by disease would intercede with God that she might have patience in her affliction. Eight days before her death as she lay alone and untended, Gregory appeared to her and said, "Dear child on my festival God will give you rest". And it came to pass when her body was removed from the board on which it had rested, the rotten wood was found to be covered with white violets. All the city attended the funeral and many miracles were reported as having been wrought through her intercession. In particular she is said as she lay dead, to have raised her hand and to have clasped and healed the injured arm of her friend Beldia.
Saint Fina is celebrated in San Gimignano on two separated days. Her first feast is on March 12 – the anniversary of her death – which has been a statutory holiday in the town since 1481. The second feast on the first Sunday of August commemorates her stopping two plagues that ravaged the town in 1479 and 1631.
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