Saint of the Day – 1 September – Blessed Giuliana of Collalto (1186-1262) Benedictine Nun, Abbess, Thaumaturgist, apostle of the poor. Born in 1186 in Collalto, Susegana, Treviso, Italy and died on 1 September 1262 at Venice, Italy of natural causes. Also known as – Juliana. Patronages – against headaches, against migraines; of migraine sufferers. Her body is incorrupt.
The Roman Martyrology states of her today: “In Venice, Blessed Giuliana da Collalto, Abbess of the Order of Saint Benedict.”
Giuliana was born in Collalto (today a fraction of the Municipality of Susegana in the Province of Treviso, Italy) in 1186. Her parents were Count Rambaldo VI and Countess Giovanna di Sant’Angelo di Mantova.
She was educated in a Christian manner and very young, at the age of twelve, she wore the Benedictine habit in St Margherita di Salarola, on the Euganean Hills. Here she lived the first years of religious life in an exemplary way. In 1220 the Blessed Beatrice I d’Este entered the same Monastery and a deep friendship was born between the two chosen souls.
In the powerful and rich Venetian Republic, Monasteries also had their importance because young people from the most important and noble families were welcomed within their walls.
On the island of Spinalonga (now Giudecca) stood the ruined Church of St Cataldo. Giuliana, whose illustrious name in terms of wealth was by now also known for her excellent virtues, was entrusted with the foundation, next door, of a Monastery. Thus was born, in that abandoned place, a cloistered community that for centuries devoted itself to prayer. The Church was also dedicated to St Biagio. Giuliana, nominated Abbess, in addition to respecting the Rule for her own sanctification and that of her Sisters, always had particular regard for the poor. Her charity was known throughout the City and she performed many wonders while still alive. Following the laws of suppression of religious orders at the end of the eighteenth century, the building was then transformed into the Villa Albarea, being located right along the Riviera del Brenta.
During the last years of her life the blessed suffered from severe headaches, which earned her the Patronage of those who suffer from the same ailment. She died on 1 September 1262, at the age of seventy-six, of which sixty-four had been dedicated to the Lord. She was buried in the Church cemetery. Her memory remained alive and above all her fame as a thaumaturgist against migraines. Her biographers were several.
Around 1290 the body, found incorrupt, was placed in an artistic wooden sarcophagus. In 1733 the relics were placed in an Altar of the Church while exactly twenty years later (on 30 May) Pope Benedict XI confirmed the cult “ab immemorabili,” with her Memorial y on 1 September . In 1810 the body was moved to the Church of the Redentore and twelve years later to the parish of St Eufemia where it is still venerated in the Chapel of St Anna. In the Church of her birthplace there is a relic of the phalanx, a crown on which she rested her head, a pillow and part of the dress worn at the time of death. The ancient wooden sarcophagus is now kept at the Correr Museum in Venice. Her paintings are an ancient example of how Venetian painting was influenced, at that time, by the Byzantine style.