The female saints of Umbria
Umbria is a region that has provided the Church with many female saints and the itinerary to visit the places sacred to them spans the entire region, from north to south. Starting in the Upper Tiber Valley, Città di Castello is known for St Veronica Giuliani, whose devotion to Christ was rewarded with the stigmata, and Beata Margherita, who converted her physical suffering into a remarkable intellectual and spiritual wealth during her lifetime.
The visionary and healing powers of Beata Colomba da Rieti are still legendary in Perugia, where she spent her life spreading her message of peace at a time when the city was torn by violent internal strife.
Beside St Claire of Assisi, who followed in the footsteps of her friend and contemporary St Francis, central-eastern Umbria is known for three extraordinary holy women who embarked on different but parallel paths towards Christian perfection: Beata Angela da Foligno, Beata Angelina da Montegiove and St Claire of Montefalco.
In the mountainous borderlands between Umbria and the Marche there is still a strong veneration for St Rita of Cascia, frequently invoked as the protectress of impossible causes, and St Scolastica of Norcia who founded the female branch of the Benedictine monastic order.
Right from her youth St Lucy, born in Narni, was graced with a mystic relation to Christ that accompanied her up until her death.
Female saints, holy women and places of interest associated with them:
St Veronica Giuliani: Monastery of Santa Veronica - Città di Castello
Beata Margherita: Church of San Domenico - Città di Castello
Beata Colomba: Church of San Domenico - Perugia / Monastery of the Beata Colomba - Perugia
St Claire of Assisi: Basilica of St Claire’s - Assisi
Beata Angela da Foligno: Church of San Francesco - Foligno / Church of San Feliciano - Foligno / Convent of San Bartolomeo - Foligno
Beata Angelina da Montegiove: Monastery of Sant'Anna - Foligno / Church of San Francesco - Foligno
St Claire of Montefalco: Sanctuary of Santa Chiara - Montefalco
St Rita of Cascia: Sanctuary of St Rita - Cascia / Monastery of Santa Rita - Cascia
St Scolastica of Norcia: Church of Santa Scolastica - Norcia
Beata Lucia da Narni: Church of Sant'Agostino - Narni / Church of San Domenico - Narni / Duomo of San Giovenale - Narni
"Umbria...Cuore verde d’Italia. Umbria Percorsi d'arte", Agenzia di Promozione turistica dell'Umbria, Perugia, pg. 60, by kind permission.
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