SAINT FINA (Seraphina)

Saint Fina or Seraphina a young girl whose claim to be recognized as a saint lay in the perfect resignation with which she accepted bodily suffering. Poor as she was she always kept half her food to give to those who were worse off than herself. Saint Fina was attacked by a sudden complication of diseases. Her head, hands, eyes, feet and internal organs were affected and paralysis supervened. Desiring to be like our Lord on the cross, for six years she lay on a plank in one position. 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".

Someone had told her about Saint Gregory the Great and his sufferings. She 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". 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.

The peasants of San Geminiano, Tuscany still give the name of Santa Fina's flowers to the white violets.

Saint Fina is the patron of immigrants. Feast day November 13.