Anchoress (ca. 1205-1265)
+ Eva (of Heva) was born between 1205 and 1210.
+ At the suggestions of Blessed Juliana of Mount Cornillon, she became a recluse, living her life in a small monastic cell attached the church of St. Martin in Liège, Belgium.
+ Eva and Juliana became close friends and Eva provided a sanctuary for Juliana when she was forced to leave her convent because of opposition to her work to establish a special feast each year honoring the Blessed Sacrament.
+ After Juliana’s death in 1258, Eva seems to have continued her friend’s efforts to establish the celebration and it was to Eva that Pope Urban IV sent a copy of the Papal Bull establishing this feast—which we now know of as Corpus Christi—and a copy of the Divine Office for the day composed by Saint Thomas Aquinas.
+ Blessed Eva of Liège died in 1265 and was buried in St. Martin’s Church. Devotion to Blessed Eva was officially approved by Pope Leo XIII in 1902.
For prayer and reflection
“How kind and gentle you are, O Lord. You showed your goodness toy our children by giving them bread from heaven. You filled the hungry with good things, and the rich you sent away empty.”—Magnificat Antiphon for Evening Prayer I of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)
On this day we also remember Saint Matilda of Saxony. The wife of King Henry “the Fowler” and mother of five children (including Saint Bruno of Cologne), she established and endowed a number of abbeys throughout Germany and was known for her generosity and solicitude for the poor, sick, and those in prisons. Saint Matilda died in 968.
Lord God, who gave the holy Virgin Eva gift upon gift from heaven, grant, we pray, that, imitating her virtues on earth, we may delight with her in the joys of eternity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Virgins)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.