On this date, March 1, in 1670, Maria Giovanna Bonomo took her last breath.
The inspiration for The Feast of Jovi Bono, MGB left us truths that endure and fire that has not yet burned out.
When MGB played the violin inside the condo her father bought her inside of a convent in Asiago, Italy, the sound was so compelling, the songs so soulful, crowds would gather outside her window to listen.
It was a time when it took so few things to be wealthy: a fine home, enough food in the larder, crops and livestock, a wagon or two, a bit of gold. There was poverty, a world full of people who had not even a crust of bread. MGB used her rich-girl privilege to collect donations of fine clothing and ample food and gave them to poor people — so much so that the convent worried about what the largesse might cost them.
MGB wasn’t worried.
The more she gave, the more the convent gave, the more they had. Were they early purveyors of the law of attraction?
MGB lived out a love story with the world around her.
Much is made of the visions and ecstasies she said she had. While those visions undoubtedly inspired her generosity, when I sought to tell her story for the 21st century, I wasn’t as interested in that as I was in the belief she had in the cycle of the universe, the sense that all things are temporal and it’s safe to give with abandon.
It’s a story about resilience. On this March 1, I remember not only the crafting of the story, but all the people who have made it their story — who have performed it in New York, Boston and Estherville, who took a risk of moving beyond themselves to tell a story of lack and abundance, of pain and love, of humor and hip hop, of speaking the truth, and of a snarky chef-narrator who whips it into a miraculous sauté.
I also think of situations going on right now. Whether you’re short $25 or $25 million, all things are worthy of hope. Nothing is impossible. Don’t stop believing, to be sure, but continue moving in the direction of what you desire for your contribution to the world, and create something new from the rubble and ash.
Here is a video about The Feast of Jovi Bono with its original cast. https://youtu.be/hemi2og2Nf0