Blessed Imelda, Patroness of First Communicants

Blessed Imelda Lambertini

When Imelda Lambertini was just five years old, she asked to receive Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time.

She loved Christ deeply, to the point of wondering, “Can anyone receive Jesus into their heart and not die?” However, as it was the year 1327, her request was out of the question. At that time children were not allowed to receive Holy Communion until they were at least 12 years old.

But she persisted.

Although her father was an Italian count and she had a comfortable home life, she wanted to be closer to God. Her parents raised her strongly in the faith which instilled in her a love for prayer and the Mass.  She would often visit a nearby Dominican Church to pray the Liturgy of the Hours with the Religious there.

At age of nine, though her wish for receiving her First Communion had not been granted, Imelda was allowed to move into the Dominican convent to live with the nuns. All the while she continued to beg to be allowed to receive the Eucharist.

One night, on the Vigil of the Ascension, the now eleven-year-old Imelda stayed late in the chapel to pray after Mass. Some say that a scent of roses drew the nuns back to the chapel, other accounts cite a bright light. However it happened, the returning nuns were greeted by a stunning sight.

Blessed Imelda Lambertini

As Imelda prayed, a consecrated host was seen suspended in the air above her head. Quickly, understanding God’s will for the girl to receive, the convent chaplain took the Eucharist and gave Imelda her First Communion on the spot.

As she took Jesus into her heart, Imelda collapsed in a state of ecstasy and, proving her early words to be foreshadowing, died of pure love and joy.

The feast day of Blessed Imelda Lambertini is celebrated on May 12th. She is the patroness of First Communicants and of making a holy, fervent First Communion. Her purity of heart is a beautiful reminder that, to be truly happy, we must love and desire God above all things.

Blessed Imelda’s incorrupt body is kept in Bologna, Italy, at the Church of San Sigismondo, beneath the wax effigy of her likeness.

Blessed Imelda, pray for us to love Jesus in the Holy Eucharist as much as you did.

Blessed Imelda Lambertini incorrupt relic

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9 Responses to Blessed Imelda, Patroness of First Communicants

  1. gail hayes says:

    Sometimes we should be thankful for unanswered prayers. She was only nine.

  2. Lauretta says:

    Beautiful story!

  3. Laurie says:

    The article says she moved in with the nuns at age nine. She was eleven when this happened and the story is about her unparalleled devotion to God, even at her young age, knowing the pure joy from being close to God.

  4. Gilene says:



  5. Kathleen Collins says:

    I had no idea why I kept getting the name in my head Imelda, I would say to my self for a lot of years who is Imelda why do i keep getting the name Imelda in my heart?. I did not know many people by the name of Imelda only one girl who lives in our village, but i do not have much contact with this girl. This is when i was praying for a name to baptist an aborted child. To my surprise i found Blessed Imelda who I had not heard of before. I will now pray to Imelda for all our little ones.I hope and pray for all God’s little ones to be Baptiste. and especially Naomi Skye.

  6. Jeanie Reese says:

    Is Imelda one of the incorruptibles?

  7. Gretchen says:

    Hi Jeanie, yes, Blessed Imelda is one of the incorruptibles.

  8. flossie says:

    a great challage, for great desire for love into her heart.

  9. ARIEL says:

    Gail Hayes,
    All our prayers were answered, Sometimes we just don’t want the answer thats we keep on saying our prayers were not answered.

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