ST UMILIATA AND THE WEASEL
 ROSINA was the secular name of the Saint who by her humility won the name of St Umiliata. She was
of a noble family of Faenza, and was desired in marriage by a prince related to Frederick
II. She would not listen to his suit, yet was later,against her will, married to one by
the name of Ugolotto Caccianemici.
She had always wished to live a religious life and long pleaded with her husband to permit
her to retire to a nunnery. He would, however, never consent until after a severe illness
his eyes were opened, and he permitted her to take the veil.
She went to the monastery of St Perpetua in Faenza. There, by her holy life and the
wonders she wrought, she so won the veneration of the nuns that, feeling herself in danger
of becoming proud, she prayed to be allowed to leave the convent. In answer to her
petitions she was carried by unseen hands through the doors and over the walls of the
cloister, and arriving in the Appenines, was admitted to a company of nuns of St Clare.
Here she remained until again her miracles won for her undesired fame.
Later she found the solitude she had so long craved, for a cell was built for her next to
the Church of St Perpetua, and there she lived as a hermit.
Her solitude was broken only by the companionship of a little weasel, which suddenly
appeared one day with a bell round its neck. Who can express the pleasure and solace of
the little creature's presence to the lonely nun! The weasel shared her daily bread and
 water, and followed her constantly as she went about her routine of devotions.
But, the time coming when Umiliata was called upon to leave her retreat (for the fame of
her sanctity again caused her to be called from the hermit's life she loved, and obliged
her to go and found a hospice in Florence), the weasel leaped lightly to the sill of the
cell's one narrow window, the bell fell from its neck, it sat up on its haunches, waved,
and bowed a polite and affectionate farewell, and disappeared.
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