Saint of the Day – 14 August – Blessed Giuliana Puricelli (1427-1504) Nun, Co-Foundress, Abbess. She was the first companion of the Blessed Caterina da Pallnza, and is regarded as the Co-Founder of the Ambrosian hermitages of the Sacro Monte di Varese. Born in 1427 near Busto Arsizio and died on 15 August 1501 at Varese , Italy. Also known as Juliana.
Giuliana was born in 1427 to a peasant family. Her father, a rough and violent man, did not wish his daughter to consecrate herself to the Lord and desired to marry her.
On 14 October 1454, the feast of San Callistus, at the age of twenty-seven Giuliana, went secretly to the Sacro Monte di Varese and placed herself under the spiritual direction of the Blessed Caterina of Pallanza, who had been leading a hermit’s life there for some years.
She began, with the authorisation of Pope Sixtus IV, on 10 August 1476. the monastic life in a Convent erected near the Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Monte or Sacro Monte di Varese, naming Caterina as the first Superior. Upon her death, in 1478, Giuliana succeeded to her position, becoming the second Abbess, which she held until the day of her death, in 1501.
Giuliana, lived heroically in humility, a spirit of penance, obedience and service to others, offering spiritual and material help through the windows off the Convent.
She died on 15 August 1501. The fame of holiness of Giuliana Puricelli was a constant in the neighbourhood of the Monastery. The faithful considered her a saint, even during her life. The fame and miracles grew with her death and. Pope Clement XIV recognised her immemorial cult by giving her the title of Blessed.
The body of the blessed, first buried in the cemetery, on 23 October 1650 was solemnly transferred to the choir of the Monastery of the Ambrosians. Later, in 1729, on the occasion of the diocesan confirmation of the cult, it was moved, together with that of the Blessed Caterino, to n oratory especially erected, near the Marian Sanctuary, where they are currently located, exposed for the veneration of the faithful.
Giuliana’s feast, which initially occurred on 23 October, in memory of the solemn translation of 1650, is celebrated on 14 August starting from 1770.