Sister receives St. James of the Marches Award

Sister Mary Frances Traynor award

SARNANO, Italy (12-13-2014) - Sister Mary Frances Traynor, F.S.E., Ph.D., received the St. James of the Marches Award in Sarnano, Italy during the conference entitled “Talent in Flight as a Driver of Change,” which was sponsored by the Cultural Circle “Look to the Future.” The theme of the conference was very timely as about 90,000 highly talented young Italians leave Italy each year for work.  The topic was addressed by many excellent speakers from various disciplines, including chemistry and culture with an informative presentation on the impact that St. James had on the society of his time through his efforts to combat usary, prostitution and child abuse.

Sister Mary Frances TraynorEach year the Municipality of Sarnano honors one of its residents who has made a significant cultural, scientific, or religious contribution locally or internationally. This year the main award was given in honor of Dr. Stelvio Papetti, a chemist who left Sarnano in the 1950s for the United States, where he worked as an industrial chemist, producing numerous patents and publications in the area of inorganic chemistry. He passed away in August of 2014 and his son Robert Papetti from Atlanta, Georgia was in Sarnano to receive the prize. At left, Sister Mary Frances is pictured with Friar Robert Papetti.

A second award, given to a non-native of Sarnano, was conferred on Sister Mary Frances for her contribution of uniting her work in science (chemistry and agriculture) with numerous editorial and communication endeavors and by the witness of her Franciscan religious profession. Sister Mary Frances lives at the Franciscan Center in Assisi and taught at the University of Perugia for many years. She received a copy of the seal that St. James of the Marches used when he would notarize documents. The parchment she received reads:

Woman of science, culture and faith who, profoundly and intensely,
knows how to combine knowledge of chemistry and analysis of soil,
disciplines for which she is a renowned expert, with the wisdom of life
and the ability to communicate and witness her religious profession.
She transmits the love and joy of knowing how to read in the earth and
in creatures a reflection of the beauty and splendor of God.

On Sunday, December 14, the participants went to the Franciscan Sanctuary in Monteprandone, Italy where St. James's body remains incorrupt and visible to the public. The Franciscan Center in Lowell, Michigan has had a relic of St. James of the Marches for many years. Sister Mary Frances venerated the remains of St. James and saw from where the relic had been obtained.

Sister Mary Frances Traynor award

St. James graduated in law from the University of Perugia in 1412 and after a few years entered the order of Friars Minor. He was an eloquent preacher and for more than 50 years traveled throughout Italy, Dalmatia, Croatia, Albania, Bosnia, Austria, Bohemia, Saxony, Prussia, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Russia. He is greatly loved by the people of the Marches and numerous scholars continue to study his writings and life.