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Birth: 1435

Death: 1458


The accounts of the early years of the Italian young woman Christina Visconti vary widely. Some present her as a devout girl who, eager to imitate the saints, spent a decade living as a hermitess, while others describe her as a worldly teenager who lost her innocence. But all accounts agree as to how she spent the latter part of her brief life. Having become a Third Order Augustinian, she went on pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi at the age of twenty.

In Spoleto, she took up residence in a hospital where she devoted herself to nursing the poor. Living penitentially, she clothed herself in a habit made from sown-together rags. Continually at prayer, Christina meditated assiduously upon the Passion of Christ, exhorting herself, “Behold with how much blood your Spouse flowed for you!” In 1458, she planned to go to Rome to attend the ceremonies of Holy Week there, but early in the year she contracted a fever that ultimately proved fatal. A short time before dying, the twenty-two-year-old Christina experienced a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary inviting her to the bridal chamber of her divine Son.


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