Saint of the Day – 18 January – Blessed Beatrix d’Este the Younger (c 1230-1262) Benedictine Nun, founded a Convent. Born in c 1230 at Castello Estense, Ferrara and died on 18 January 1262 of natural causes. Beatrix was Beatified in 1774 by Pope Clement XIV. Her memorial date was decreed by Pope Pius VI for today. Additional Memorial – 19 January. Also known as – Beatrice.
The Roman Martyrology states: “In Ferrara, Blessed Beatrice d’Este, Nun, who, on the death of her future husband, having renounced the kingdom of this world, consecrated herself to God in a Monastery founded by herself under the rule of Saint Benedict.”
An account of her life was written, in both medieval Latin and the Italian vernacular, by a Monk, Brother Alberto of the Church of the Holy Spirit. This text was unknown for centuries, until it was rediscovered in the eighteenth Century in an “old Ferrarese codex.”
Beatrix was the daughter of Azzo IX, the Marquis d’Este and Lord of Ferrara and of Giovanna di Puglia, Beatrice was born in Ferrara around 1230. She was educated following the examples of her aunt St Beatrix the Elder, a Nun in Gemmola (Padua)
She was given in marriage to Galeazzo, son of Manfredi and Mayor of Vicenza. On travelling to join him in Milan, she received the painful news of his death in battle, against Frederick II.
She returned to Ferrara and retired to monastic life on the islet of St Lazzarus, west of the City, with some court maids, there receiving the habit.
In 1257, as the number of Nuns grew, she obtained from Pope Innocent IV, permission to move to the Monastery of St Stephen della Rotta, near which, in 1267, the Church of St Anthony Abbot was built. Beatrix made her vows by the hands of the Bishop John, embracing the Rule of St Benedict.
Beatric lived in holiness and died on 18 January 1262 and not, as Muratori believed, in 1270. She was buried in a wing of the large cloister transformed into a Chapel and her sepulchre soon became the destination of pilgrimages .
Pope Clement XIV approved the cult on 23 July 1774 and Pope Pius VI granted the Mass and the Office in 1775, setting the celebration for 19 January in Padua, since the 18th was the now suppressed Feast of the Chair of St Peter in Rome.
From Beatrix’s marble tomb, at certain times of the year, a liquid miraculously exudes and a delicate perfume is released from her bones. The many graces obtained on the occasions of public calamities, make the place an object of great veneration.