Saint of the Day – 31 January – Blessed Louise degli Albertoni TOSF (1474-1533) Widow

Saint of the Day – 31 January – Blessed Louise degli Albertoni TOSF (1474-1533) Widow, Mother, Mystic, Ecstatic, Apostle of the sick, the poor, the deprived, Miracle-worker. Born in1474 as Ludovica Albertoni in Rome, Italy and died on 31 January 1533 in Rome of natural causes. Beatified on 28 January 1671 by Pope Clement X. Also known as – Ludovica, Louisa Albertoni, Ludovica Albertoni Cetera.

Louise first saw the light of the world at Rome in the year 1474. Her parents belonged to the distinguished families of this City because of their wealth but still more because of their piety. They bestowed great care upon the training of their daughter and she responded fully to their efforts, so that she developed into a model for all young women. She had resolved to remain unmarried but when her parents urged her to be betrothed to an illustrious young man, she believed she recognised the will of God in their desire and agreed to the marriage.

The Blessed Ludovica Albertoni distributing Alms
(Giovanni Battista Gaulli c 1670)

But even in the married state, in which she remained attached to her husband with genuine love, she sought above all things to please God. Her attire was very plain, and even away from home, she avoided frivolous pomp and luxury. God blessed their union with three daughters, whom she was careful to rear, above all, in the love and fear of God.

When Blessed Louise Albertoni was but thirty-three years old, she lost her husband to death. After her daughters were provided for, Louise thought of nothing but to dedicate herself to the service of God. Publicly she took the habit of the Third Order, practiced the severest penances and was so irresistibly drawn to the contemplation of the sufferings of Our Lord and they were so constantly before her mind that she continually wept,and it was feared that she would lose her sight.

Louise lived a pious life, working for the poor of the Trastevere neighbourhood, under the guidance of the Franciscan Friars of San Francesco Church, where she would be buried in 1533. She bore a great love for the poor as special members of Christ. She used the abundant income of her fortune entirely for their support. But she strove to conceal her liberality. With this intention she often hid pieces of money in the bread that was given to the poor at her door and then begged Almighty God that He would let it fall to the lot of such as needed it most. Her benevolence knew no bounds. Sometimes she lacked even the necessaries for herself. But then, she rejoiced to be like Christ, who, being rich, became poor out of love for men.

God repaid her with extraordinary graces. He granted her the gift of miracles and frequent ecstasy. He also told her beforehand of the day of her death.

When her end drew nigh, she received the last Sacraments with great devotion. Then gazing upon the Crucifix with the tenderest pity, she kissed it and said: “Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.” Thereupon she breathed forth her soul on the day that had been announced to her, which was 31 January 1533.

Her body rests in the Church of St Francis on the Tiber and her Feast is celebrated in Rome with great solemnity. Pope Clement X Beatified Blessed Louise Albertoni in 1671.

The Bernini figure of Ludovica Albertoni, above,is set above the Altar of the Altieri Chapel on the left side of the Church of San rancesco. Bernini designed an architectural setting that focuses attention on the marble sculpture, framing it within an archway he cut into an existing wall where a painting had previously hung. The main figure is flanked by deep returns set at oblique angles decorated with earlier frescoes of Saint Clare of Assisi and Blessed Ludovica herself providing alms to a beggar. The central figure is lit on both sides by large windows concealed by the returns.

The figure of Ludovica Albertoni is presented on a mattress at the moment of mystical communion with God. The folds of her habit reflect her state of turmoil and her head is thrown back onto an embroidered pillow supported by a headrest. Beneath her figure is a deeply crumpled sculpted cloth above a red-marble Sarcophagus, where Ludovica is interred. The panel behind her is carved with stylized pomegranates, flaming hearts adorn the base of the windows. She is surrounded by putti and waiting to rise to the Light of Heaven.

The painting behind the sculpture is by Baciccio.



Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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