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Ludovica Albertoni

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Blessed Ludovica Albertoni
Died January 31, 1533
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified January 28, 1671 by Pope Clement X
Feast January 31
Blessed Ludovica Albertoni

Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini - Blessed Ludovica Albertoni (1671-1674). San Francesco a Ripa, Trastevere, Rome.

Ludovica Albertoni (d.1533) is considered a blessed person in Christianity. Her feast day is 31 January.

She is also known as Louisa Albertoni; Ludovica Albertoni Cetera. She was born to a wealthy and prominent family, and married to Giacomo de Citara. She was the mother of three, but was widowed in 1506. As a Franciscan tertiary, she spent her fortune and ruined her health in caring for the poor. She was renowned for her religious ecstasies, and became known as a miracle worker, and, according to accounts, had the gift of levitation.

She died on January 31, 1533 of natural causes. On January 28, 1671, she was beatified by Pope Clement X. Her cause for canonization is still pending.

Ludovica is best known for the famous sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini housed in the church of San Francesco a Ripa in Rome. The recumbent statue captures Blessed Ludovica in her death throes, portraying her as suffering but also in the light of her religious ecstasies as she awaits union with God. It is believed that she experienced a special nuptial union with Christ as portrayed in Bernini's work.

For more information on Ludovica Albertoni and Bernini read "Bernini and The Idealization of Death" by Shelly Karen Perlove.

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