Maria Lorenzo Longa, Venerable (d. 1542),
Capuchin Poor Clare foundress

The noble Lady Lorenza Longo was born in Catalane Spain in 1463. She was married to a noble man, John Long. He was chancellor of the counsel of King Fernando of Aragon. In a visit of the king to Naples, in 1506, she and her husband were among his companions.

During a party, she was poisoned by a resentful servant when she asked for something to drink. She did not die but as a consequence, she was paralyzed. After the death of her husband, she established herself in Naples.

In 1510 she was miraculously healed during a visit to the sanctuary of Loreto. In addition to the health of her body, the Lord restored the health of her spirit. After this, she dedicated herself to the Lord.

Lorenza together with other noble women of Naples dedicated themselves to works of Charity, seeing Christ in the poor and sick. She was part of several associations of Prayer and sacred Scripture study. She put her faith into practice in serving Christ in the poor and needy.

To alleviate the sufferings of the sick, Lady Lorenza enlisted the aid of others and built a hospital together with other members of the association of the Divine Love. She was the heart of the association and devoted herself to works of charity giving special aid and care to the sick. This was one of the biggest projects that they did. The hospital was especially for the Poor and uncured people. It was established in 1522. Lady Lorenza begged alms to support it, and also supported it with her own wealth. She was the director of the hospital for many years. She lived there and served the sick with her own hands.

During this time Lady Lorenza entrusted her spiritual life to the guidance of Saint Cajetano. She entrusted to him her desire to found a monastery under the rule of Saint Clare.

In 1530 the Capuchins brothers arrived in Naples. The Venerable Mother Lorenza hosted them in the hospital. The Venerable Lady Lorenza was very much impressed by the way of life of the Capuchin brothers.

She was already distinguished for her virtue when she embraced The Third Order of Saint Francis and gathered several Ladies to live in the community. On February 19, 1535, she receives a Bull from Pope Paul III which gave canonical approved for the foundation to observe the Rule of Saint Clare. The Venerable Mother together with 18 noblewomen from Naples started the new Monastery. It was distinguished by its poverty and austerity of life. These Ladies were under the guidance of Mother Lorenza. They wanted to live a life of Contemplation. The Venerable Mother Lorenza instructed the sisters in prayer, self-denial, and mortification.

In 1538 the same Pontiff recognizes the new foundation as a monastery of very strict observance of the Order of Saint Clare. The monastery could have an abbess, 12 Choir sisters and 7 converses sisters. In the Bull of Paulo III, the title of abbess and foundress was given to the venerable Lorenza. She governed the new monastery and directed it to a more faithful observance of the charisma of Saint Francis and Saint Clare.

Many ladies wanted to join the new monastery, so she asked permission to the Holy Pope to go to a bigger place and be able to accept more candidates. The Pope gave her permission to receive more candidates. She could admit 33 sisters.

The name of the first monastery of Capuchin Poor Clares sisters was Santa Maria de Jerusalem of the Order Of Saint Clare. It was also known as the monastery of the 33. The community of Saint Mary of Jerusalem lived the Rule of Saint Clare very strictly.

The Venerable Lorenza asked the Pope to put the new monastery under the guidance of the Capuchins. The Pope asked them, by holy obedience, to take the spiritual care of the new monastery. This happened in 1538. The Capuchins guided the new monastery to a more faithful living of the Franciscan charisma.

The principal characteristic elements of the reform of the Capuchin Poor Clares were: highest poverty without dowry or possessions, the austerity of life, withdrawal from the world under strict enclosure, simplicity in fraternal life, but above all else an intense life op prayer day and night.

This causes their frame to spared rapidly. At the end of the 16th century, there were 18 monasteries in Italy. In 1588 founded their first monastery in Spain in the city of Granada, in 1599, in Barcelona from which many others would come. In 1603 the first monastery in France was established in Paris. During the 17th century, 65 new monasteries in Italy, 23 in Spain 7 in France, 2 in Portugal. By the middle of the 18 century, there were a total of 150 Capuchin Poor Clares monasteries. 9 of which were in the Americas.

Saint Veronica Giuliani

Today the Capuchin Poor Clares are 141 monasteries with 1723 sisters.

Among the fruits of holiness of the Order, are the following as outstanding examples: Saint Veronica Giuliani (1727) Blessed Maria Angela Astorch (1665), Blessed Mary Magdalen Martinengo (1737) The Venerable Lorenza Longo, foundress (1542) Angela Serafina Prat (1608). Florida Cevoli (1767), and many others.

You can find more information of Saint, Blessed, and Venerable,
Capuchins Brothers and sister in the following links

Martyrs of Valencia
Feast Day: 25 October

Blessed Mary Jesus Masiá Ferragut
Blessed Mary Veronica Masiá Ferragut
Blessed Mary Felicity Masiá Ferragut
Blessed Isabel Calduch Rovira
Blessed Mary Milagros Ortilles Gimeno
https://saintscatholic.blogspot.com/2014/03/martyrs-of-valencia.html