Thursday, February 28, 2008

February 28: Bl. Villana de Botti

Here is a beata that interests me, in no small part because she could possibly be one of my long-lost Italian relations (my mother is a Botti).

A Florentine of the mid-14th century, Villana de Botti ran away to a convent at the age of 13; however, she was rejected, and had to return home to her family, which quickly married her off. After her marriage, she gave herself over to idleness, vanity and worldly entertainments; then, one day, while she was primping in front of a mirror, she suddenly saw a hideous, demonic creature staring back at her in the mirror. Going from mirror to mirror, she saw the same awful reflection. Struck by the realization that she was seeing the state of her soul, she tore off her fancy dress, put on simple clothes, and went running to the Dominican fathers. She became a Dominican tertiary and devoted herself to her vocation as a married woman, to prayer and to penance. Although her zeal to atone for her formerly dissipated life sometimes led her to excesses which drew ridicule and slander, she was a mystic and a prophet, and reached a level of sanctity that even her detractors eventually had to acknowledge. She died on January 29, 1361 at the age of 29, and was beatified in 1829.

Prayer in Honor of Bl. Villana de Botti

O God, our merciful Father, you called Blessed Villana back from the emptiness of the world and aroused in her a spirit of humility and true penitence. Recreate in our hearts the power of your love and, filled by that same spirit, may we serve you in newness of life. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing story! I love these kinds of stories of the saints. I know we are supposed to emulate the saints, but it is so hard...