Saint of the Day – 22 October – Blessed Lucia Bartolini Rucellai (Died 1520) Widow, Tertiary of the Order of Preachers, Penitent, Prioress, Born in the 15th Century in Florence as Camila Bartolini and died in 1520 of natural causes.
Lucia was born in Florence, Italy, in the 15th century; She was a member of the noble Bartolini family and was Baptised with the name of Camila. When she was a teenager, she married Rodolfo Rucellai and went to live in the splendid Albertino Palace.
At thirty, however, Savonarola’s words took her out of worldly concerns, enkindling i her the fire of the deepest and most painful spirituality. Even Rudolfo, her husband, was shaken by the prophetic prayers of the preacher and decided, somewhat hastily, to part from his wife, who had no children, to wear the Dominican habit at San Marco.
Camila accepted her husband’s decision and became a tertiary of Saint Dominic. After a few months, Rodolfo Rucellai, more impulsive but less strong than his wife, got tired of the religious state and wanted to return to the world, trying to convince his wife to do the same. But then she was the one who objected with unexpected tenacity and indeed, Lucia, after painful work, had found in the new state, a spiritual wealth in comparison with which, all the flattery of the world seemed empty and doomed.
Rodolfo died shortly after and Camila became a nun with the name of Lucia, she remained in the Convent of the Dominican tertiaries, becoming the promoter of a new foundation, dedicated to Saint Catherine of Siena . After the tragic end of Savonarola, hanged and burned as a heretic, in the Piazza della Signoria, in May 1498, Lucia Bartolini was a wise and rigorous guide to the Florentine Convent of Santa Catalina, as Prioress, obtaining permission for her tertiaries to issue three vows and then wear the habit of the nuns of the Second Order.
Lucia was a mortified, penitent and very strict with herself,. She prayed with such fervour that, it was said, the Convent of Santa Catalina appeared crowned with flames, at the times when she was in prayer. And as soon as he died, in 1520, after a serenely accepted illness, her halo as a Blessed came to embellish the glory of the very wealthy Rucellai family, showering them with the glory of Heavenly riches.