Today’s Saint

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May 13 | Your First Communion

Blessed Imelda Lambertini

A.D. 1322–1333

Your First Communion was a historic event. You have a place in the history of the Eucharist.

Some of us remember it, some of us don't. Some people have humorous stories to tell, and many people wish they had been better prepared. 

The first time you received Jesus in the Eucharist was a historic moment. You stepped into a 2,000-year history of men and women participating in Eucharistic Glory. You became part of an eternal community that includes angels and saints who all come to the same table for this one meal. You received Jesus into your body and soul in the most intimate way possible for the first time.

Whether you receive the Eucharist for the first time at seven or seventy, that first time is just the beginning of the rest of your life. Every time you receive Jesus from that point forward, you have the chance to have a powerful encounter with the Alpha and the Omega.

Blessed Imelda Lambertini was intimately aware of this reality. Before she even received her First Communion, she would often ask, “Tell me, can anyone receive Jesus into his heart and not die?” These words proved prophetic.

When she was eleven years old, Imelda knelt in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. The sacristan noticed a light hovering above her head and immediately told the priest. The priest came and recognized it as the glorious light of the Eucharist. He knew it was time to give her First Communion, after she had been waiting for so long. Imelda received it with a glowing smile on her face. She then returned to her seat to pray, and stayed long after everyone else had left. 

Eventually, a nun came to fetch her for dinner, and found her still there, smiling. But when the nun called her, Imelda did not move. The nun tapped her on the shoulder. Blessed Imelda’s body then fell to the floor. God had called her back to Heaven.

It is a shocking story. But perhaps we need to be shocked from time to time. One of the greatest temptations around the Eucharist is to treat it like a regular part of our routine instead of the most significant moment of our week. It is so easy to become complacent and lose our awareness of what this sacrament really means.

So let me ask you a question inspired by Blessed Imelda’s story: How would your experience of Communion change if you approached it as if it was your first, last, and only Communion?


I will approach Communion as if it is my first, last and only Communion.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: First Communicants

Symbols: First Communion Dress/Veil

Feast Day: May 13

Beatified: December 20, 1826

Beatified By: Pope Leo XII

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