Jacoba di Settesoli (d. about 1273)

views updated

Jacoba di Settesoli (d. about 1273)

Saint. Name variations: Jacqueline of Settesoli; Saint Jacoba. Died around 1273; married Gratian Frangipini; children: two sons. Her feast day is February 8.

As a loyal friend, Jacoba di Settesoli was second only to Clare of Assisi in the eyes St. Francis of Assisi. Francis, who met the Roman noblewoman around 1212, affectionately called her "Brother Jacoba." She was the widow of Gratian Frangipini and would have undoubtedly entered the religious life following the death of her husband had she not had been left with two sons to care for. As it was, she entered the third order (the lay branch of the religious order).

Known for her intelligence and vitality, Jacoba often entertained the Poverello (poor man) during his visits to Rome, preparing for him a cream confection called motairol, made of almonds, sugar, and other ingredients ground with a mortar and pestle. To thank her for her hospitality, he presented her with the gift of a lamb, which, according to St. Bonaventure, "seemed to have been educated by him in the spiritual life." The lamb gently awakened Jacoba for devotions and followed her to church, remaining by her side while she prayed. Just before his death, the Poverello sent a note to Jacoba saying: "Set out then as soon as possible, if you wish to see me once more. Bring with you what is necessary for my burial, and some of the good things which you gave me to eat when I was sick in Rome." Following his instructions, Jacoba brought to him a burial veil, a cushion on which his head would rest on the bier, and a sheet of haircloth to cover his body. She also brought the confection he desired, although he could manage only a taste.

Jacoba, who survived her children and grandchildren, spent her last years in Assisi to be close to those who had known St. Francis. Following her death, she was buried in the Great Umbrian basilica, not far from her dear friend.

About this article

Jacoba di Settesoli (d. about 1273)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article