Saint Virginia Centurione Bracelli

Saint Virginia Centurione Bracelli

Virginia Centurione Bracelli was an Italian noblewoman from Genoa. She was born on 2 April 1587 and her father was the Doge of Genoa. She had a short marriage due to being widowed in 1607.

Virginia wanted to live a cloistered life. However, she was forced into marriage to Gaspare Grimaldi Bracelli, who was a rich noble, on 10 December 1602. She had two daughters: Lelia and Isabella. The marriage did not last long, for she became a widow on 13 June 1607 at the age of 20. She refused another arranged marriage brought on due to her father's influence and took up a vow to live a chaste life.

After her husband's death, Virginia began charitable works and assisted the poor and the sick. To help alleviate the poverty in her town she founded the "Cento Signore della Misericordia Protettrici dei Poveri di Gesù Cristo". The centre was soon overrun with people suffering from the famine and plague of 1629–30 and soon she had to rent the Monte Calvario convent to accommodate all the people that came in.

Around 1635 the centre was caring for over 300 patients and received recognition as a hospital from the government. Virginia spent the remainder of her life acting as a peacemaker between noble houses and continuing her work for the poor.

Virginia died on 15 December 1651 at the age of 64, was beatified on 22 September 1985, and was later canonized on 18 May 2003.

Other Saints of the Day
1. Saint Mary Di Rosa
2. Saint Faustinus
3. Saint Maximinus
4. Saint Paul of Latros
5. Saint Urbitius


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