September 9, 2018

Feast of Santa Fortunata

Viva Santa Fortunata! 
In Baucina, Sicily the second Sunday in September is the patronal Feast Day of Santa Fortunata, Virgin and Martyr. According to tradition, the young maiden lived in Palestrina, Latium and converted to Christianity. While visiting Rome, she was denounced as a Christian and arrested by the city guard. Brutally tortured, Santa Fortunata suffered martyrdom in 200 AD. Her liturgical feast day is February 14th, which marks the arrival of her relics (with Papal bull of Pope Pius VI) to Baucina from the Roman catacomb of San Lorenzo (also called San Ciriaca) in 1790.

To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer to Santa Fortunata.* The accompanying photos were taken at the Società Santa Fortunata di New York clubhouse (7702 17th Avenue) in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Above is the original society statue, dating from around August, 1900. Too fragile to carry anymore, the society commissioned a new statue (pictured below) in 2000 for their annual Processions.
Prayer to Santa Fortunata
O virgin and martyr, Saint Fortunata from that sublime throne where you rest in your glory, deign to gaze upon me, your unworthy and devout servant.
I pray that by your purity and heroism in glorious martyrdom, you may ask Jesus Christ and His most holy Mother, virgin of virgins, to protect me from every serious sin. I wish to offend Jesus no more, and when He sees me in temptation, may He deliver me from every thought and affection contrary to His law. Awake in me the memory of eternity and of Jesus crucified. Imprint deeply in my heart a sentiment of holy fear of God; inflame me with devine love, that imitating you on earth, I may merit happiness with you and with God in heaven, Amen.
The current society statue of Santa Fortunata
* Thank you Società Santa Fortunata di New York for providing us with the prayer