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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Prayer to St. Camilla Battista

Lord Jesus Christ,
You deigned to attract Saint Camilla Battista
To your Sacred Heart
As she meditated upon your inner sufferings,
Raise us with your infinite love from the
Miseries of this life and through her
Intersession grant unto us first and foremost
To merit the salvation that you so dearly purchased
For us through your death and resurrection,
And then deign to grant unto us the
Special favor we now ask of you
(here state the favor your are requesting)
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be
Saint Camilla Battista, pray for us

For today's feast of St. Camilla Battista - Some of her writings

How the three powers of the soul are sanctified

by Saint Camilla Battista da Varano

In the work of sanctification, it is necessary to purify the three powers of the soul: the memory, intellect and will, so that also these may be solely directed towards God. The memory, above all, according to the teaching of the Saint, is purified by the threefold remembrance of the Passion of Christ, of one’s own sins and of the innumerable benefits received from the Goodness of God.

First: the memory is sanctified when it is dedicated wholly to thee things: firstly, to a continual remembrance of the Passion of Christ; secondly, to sorrowing over one’s own sins; thirdly, to a continual remembrance of the benefits received from God.  The remembrance of the Passion of Christ us like an ark of heavenly treasures(Pr 2:4, Jb 28:18), a door which gives access to enter (Cfr Jn 10:9) and enjoy the glorious Jesus, and a perfect mistress of all the spiritual arts: an inexhaustible source of living water (Ct 4:15), a profound well of the secrets of God. Blessed is he who has this, because it is a probable sign of predestination, by means of which we are written in the book of life (Ap 21:27). O sweet remembrance that causes to gush forth the sweet tears of love, with which, by your sweetness, you move the heart to its very depths and bring innumerable ornaments to the soul! He who does not believe this should set about trying it for himself, and he will experience such remembrance exceeds all the works which man can perform in this life with his mind.

He, therefore, who wants to be free from every impurity and have a pledge of the future glory and beatitude, in as much as it may be had in this life, is to seek this sweet remembrance of the Passion of Christ, just like the Apostle Paul, who bore continually the stigmata of the Passion in his body (Gal 6:17). Therefore, do not be amazed if he dared to say: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or the sword?”(Rm 8:35) “There is laid up for me the crown of righteousness” (2 Tm 4:8).

The remembrance of one’s sins is also pleasing to God, provided that it is done in the way indicated by the Prophet: Before you I pondered over all my years in the bitterness of my soul(Is 38:15) remembering one’s own sins with the most bitter sorrow, since this comes from true contrition which restores first innocence to the soul, rendering it acceptable and lovable to God, to such a point that it remains in grace, like a fruitful olive (Ps 51:10).  In these oblations, the soul begins to hear the trumpet of the most ardent charity, thinking on the abyss of the immense goodness which it finds in God.

Since it feels itself to have returned with little effort to the grace of the Lord Whom it has so much offended, it begins to sound the organ of seraphic affections and, bowed down with the eyes of contrition, adores God with true adoration, that of latria, considering itself to be nothing.  In such consideration it melts and, and in the secret of the Heart, sends to Heaven voices from the depths of its loving heart, saying continually: O Spouse of Whom I am unworthy. Father, not deserving of such a miserable soul - who will be able to give me the strength and the power to die for Thee? 

O love, O happy remembrance totally dedicated to the sweetness and amazing goodness of your God and of your bitterness and miseries, just as it was for St. Francis!  I dare to say, that though you are in this mortal body, nonetheless you already possess the reward of immortality, because, whether you are seated or standing, silent or speaking, you always have God as your inseparable companion (Ps 138:1).”

From De vita Contemplativa – Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, Italy [ From Saint Camilla's Treatise on the purity of heart - Contribution and Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana. Saint Camilla Battista da Varano, O.S.C., of Camerino, was beatified by Pope Gregory XVI  and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in October 2010.]


Two angels came to me, dressed in resplendent white garments which I have seen only worn by Jesus. They had wings of gold. One of them took my soul from the right side, the other from the left side, and they elevated it in the air, laying it down near the crucified feet of the Son of God made Man. This state lasted about two months almost continually; I seem to walk, to speak, and do what I wished, deprived however of my soul. It remained there where the two Angels had placed it but they never abandoned it. They (the celestial spirits) declare to me that they were so intimate with God that God is not ever separated from them. They also explained to me that the Seraphim were likewise united to the Cherubim in that none of them could ever go without the other to a soul.
- from The Spiritual Life by St. Camilla Battista

Today is the Feast of St. Camilla Battista. Poor Clare Nun

Sunday October 17 2010, Pope Benedict XVI elevated to sainthood Camilla Battista of Varano, OSC, in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

Biographical Profile Blessed BATTISTA CAMILLA wasborn in Camerino, Italy, on April 9, 1458, of Prince JuliusCaesar da Varano and Lady Cecchina di Maestro Giacomo. Although she was born out of wedlock, nonethe­less, Camilla was reared in the palace of her father. There she received a suitable instruction in the arts and literature under the tutelage of Giovanna Malatesta, the wife of the Prince.

Around the agesof 8-10, after having heard the exhortation of the preacher Fr. Domenico da Leonessa, she made a vow to meditate every Friday on the Passion of Christ and to shed at least one tear. This simple endeavor, which she embraced with childlike en­thusiasm and faithfulness even if it cost sacrifices, opened before her the unfathomable treasures of grace, enabling her to lead an intense spiritual life. About this resolution she wrote, “That holy word, which I uttered, moved by the Holy Spirit, made such an im­pression on my tender and childlike heart that it never left my mind and heart.” Yearslater, another Franciscan, Fr. Pacifico of Urbino, encouraged Camilla to persevere in her vow.
Then from the agesof 18-21, she went through three yearsof deep spiritual struggles against the allurements of the world. Yet, she would not abandon her suffering Lord; on the contrary, for the sake of his love she began to lead a more austere way of life. Referring to thisperiod of her life, she wrote, in fact, “Blessed is that creature who never gives up under any temptation the good she began!”

During Lent of 1479 on the vigil of the Annunciation in the Church of St. Peter in Muralto, Camilla listened to the preaching of Br. Francesco da Urbino. While doing so, she received the light to understand the inestimable gift of consecrated virginity. So, on the Octave of Easter, after having made a general confession to Fr. Oliviero da Urbino, she obtained the gift of a total inner purification.

Having thus prepared herself to belong to Christ totally and having overcome parental resistance for two years, she managed to enter the monastery of the Poor Clares of Urbino on Nov. 14, 1481, taking upon the religiousname of Sr. Battista—a common name for a woman of the time. She returned to Camerino on the first week of January of 1484 with eight other of her companions; and on Jan. 4, she gave start to a new community of Poor Clares in a monastery which her father had purchased from the Olivetan monks.

 She was endowed with extraordinary gifts—as her autobi­ography attests—such as interior illumination, fiery words, ecstasy, and visions of angels and saints. She was even granted her heart’s deepest desire, namely, to share in the interior pains which our Redeemer endured during his Sacred Passion. By daily meditation on Sacred Scripture and the Liturgy and by living constantly in the presence of God—as attested by her Olivetan Spiritual Director, Antonio of Segovia—Bl. Camilla wasable through the years to commit to writing textsof mystical literature. The quality of its spirituality was so high as to be appreciated by renowned Churchmen and saints, including St. Philip Neri. By the time she turned 35 years of age, she was elected Abbess for the first time, a position she continued to hold for several terms.

The time had come for the Blessed to face trials. The first one was spiritual dryness, which lasted for a period of 5 years from 1488 to 1493. During that time, she experienced the silence of Him who was the only reason for her life. The eco of this spiritual desolation is well documented in the autobiographical letter known as“the Spiritual Life”. The second trial wounded her deeply in the heart, when Pope Alexander VI excommunicated her father for having resisted the limits set on the Lordship of Camerino. He was then imprisoned along with her three brothersby Cesare Borgia, who later had them slain on Oct. 9, 1502. Because of this tragic incident, Camilla had to flee to the city of Fermo, where she sought refuge to no avail. She was able, nonetheless, to seek asylum in the Kingdom of Naples thanks to Isabella Piccolomini Todeschini, the wife of Matthew Acquaviva of Aragona. It wasnot until the death of Pope Alexander VI on Aug. 8, 1503, that she was able to return to Camerino, where her youngest brother, Giovanni Maria, was able to restore the Lordship of the Varano family.
Then, on Jan. 28, 1505, Pope JuliusII, who admired Camilla, sent her to found a new community of Poor Claresin the city of Fermo, where she stayed for two years. She was also able to form the new community of Poor Claresof Saint Severino Marchesduring the years of 1521-22. Her spirit of charity enabled her to serve her sisters in many ways in their spiritual formation; by writing a treatise requested by a religious entitled, “The Purity of the Heart”; by interceding for those on death rows; and by saving the city of Treia from mercenary troops.

According to the witness of one of the sisters, there was place in Camilla’s heart for the whole Church of Christ, for whom she prayed and suffered. She suffered for the sins of many clergymen, and her heart was acutely pained over the news reaching her from Germany,  where an Augustinian monk, Martin Luther, was fighting to sever ties with the Roman Catholic Church.
When she had reached the age of 66, of which 43 were spent in the intimacy of the cloister life, her yearning “to leave the prison of her body in order to be with Christ” was satisfied. She died in silence on May 31, 1524, due to a plague that broke out in the Monastery of Camerino, where her mortal remains can be found to this day. varano