Today is the Feast Day of Spiritual Warrior Saint Alda (or Aldobrandesca) ✝ Pray for us St. Alda was born in Siena, Italy and became a childless widow after only seven years of marriage. She retired to a cottage outside Siena and devoted herself to almsgiving and asceticism. She experienced visions of Jesus performing the deeds recorded in the gospels. Eventually, she gave away all of her possessions and used only a small gourd for a drinking cup. She gave up her hermitage and went to live and work in a hospital in order to take care of the sick. Members of the staff regarded her as a fraud and wanted to prove her trances and ecstasies false. Therefore, while she was in a mystical ecstasy, they began to punch and pinch her, to prick her with pins and to burn her fingers with candle flames. When she came out of the trance and felt her entire body in excruciating pain, she simply said: “May God forgive you.” Her response to such treatment caused her to win over the staff. The act of forgiveness tells us more about Alda than all of her paranormal experiences. Visions and ecstasies may be evidence of a supernatural touch, but mercy expressed to others is a sure sign of divine love. While ministering to the sick, she performed several miraculous cures. According to her biographer, on at least three occasions, making the sign of the cross over the patient was sufficient to immediately heal the affliction. Alda performed her charitable works daily right up to her death on April 26, 1310.