The Hermitage of St Jacoba
We took these Photos last Saturday Evening during the Liturgy for the Blessing of a Well, a concept of Celtic Christianity in that water is considered a Gateway to the Afterlife. Br. Andrew had decided to name the Well after the Lady Jocoba because she was a gender bender in the Franciscan Third Order. She was the only woman ever allowed into the Portiuncula, doing so as Br. Jacoba
In the last days of Saint Francis’ life, the arrival of Lady Jacoba dei Settesoli, from Rome was anything but quiet. She arrived at the Portiuncula Friary, “with a very large retinue as befitted such a great lady … there was a very great clamour outside the door, caused by the horses and attendants of this devout disciple. She had arrived to visit her most illustrious father and teacher.” She waited with respect for the friars to allow her to see Saint Francis. Perhaps she knew that Saint Francis had placed a strict enclosure on the Portiuncula Friary, so as to guard its spirit of prayer and contemplation. But Saint Francis immediately found a fraternal way around his prohibition calling her Brother Jacoba and so she was brought in to see him. “When the saint saw her, he rejoiced that, as he had hoped, she had been sent by God. After recovering a little in the joy of seeing, her, it was thought the saint would live longer. Lady Jacoba, therefore, decided to send back part of her retinue, so that she might wait for the saint’s end with fewer attendants. But the saint forbade this. “I will depart on Saturday evening,” he said. “You can leave with your retinue on the following day.”” This quote is not from Celano, but Br Bernard of Besse, the secretary of Saint Bonaventure.(See: Saint Francis of Assisi: Early Documents. The Prophet. “A Book of the Praises of Saint Francis” by Bernard of Besse. Chapter VIII. pages 66 & 67.)
Source: Lady Jacoba dei Settesol
Since both Jessica and I are joint guardians of this Well it will be a Hermitage and Br Andrew will endeavor to follow St Francis’ Rule for Hermitages.
Br. Andrew next to https://ccohsydney.wordpress.com/2018/10/15/blessed-jacoba-dei-settesoli/