Blessed Lucy of Narni

detail of an Italian holy card of Blessed Lucy of NarniAlso known as

  • Lucy Brocolelli
  • Lucy de Alessio
  • Lucia Broccadelli
  • Lucia Brocadelli



The eldest of eleven children of Bartolomeo Broccadelli and Gentilina Cassio. A pious child, at age five she received a vision of Our Lady, and at age seven she saw Mary and received a scapular from Saint Dominic de Guzman. By age twelve she had taken private vows and had decided to become a Dominican. However, her father died, she was placed in the care of her uncle, and at age 15 she was betrothed in an arranged marriage to Count Pietro de Alessio of Milan, Italy. Her fondness for Pietro and her duty to her family conflicted with her desire for the religious life, and the stress caused her to become ill until she received a vision of Mary, Saint Dominic and Saint Catherine. She finally married the count, but he understood that they would live as brother and sister.

Lucy took over the operation of the count‘s household. She taught catechism to the servants, began caring for the local poor, and spent her evenings in prayer. The servants claimed that Saint Catherine, Saint Agnes of Rome and Saint Agnes of Montepulciano helped her bake bread for the poor. At one point Lucy simply walked away from home, planning to become an anchorite; she claimed that Saint Dominic brought her back as she had other things to do; her husband had her locked up, possibly for what he considered her own safety. This became the breaking point for them; a few weeks later Lucy returned to her mother‘s home. Pietro eventually became a Franciscan and noted preacher.

In 1496 she moved to Viterbo, Italy, and joined a group of Dominican tertiaries. Her visions continued, she began to fall into ecstasies during prayer, and received the signs of the stigmata. Word of her visions and actions got around, and curiosity seekers came to gawk at her. Her bishop investigated her himself, but did not come to any conclusion about the nature of her visions, and referred her to the Inquisition. They investigated, reached no decision, and referred her to the Vatican. The Pope, with the help of Blessed Columba of Rieti, decided that the mystical signs were of God, and asked Lucy to pray for him.

Lucy returned to Viterbo where the locals were excited to have her back. However, the count of Ferrara, Italy who had just built a convent of Saint Catherine of Siena in Narni, Italy, asked Lucy to serve as its prioress; she agreed, with the plan to make it a house of very strict observance. This triggered a two-year conflict between the two cities which actually led to armed conflict when the count sent troops to Viterbo in 1499 to escort her to the convent. There she ran into additional problems as many novices were unable to live under the strict rules; there was sometimes a circus atmosphere at the house as the count brought visitors to show off Lucy, and would demand that she show signs of stigmata. In 1505 the Dominicans replaced her as prioress, and the new superior had her confined; for her remaining 39 years she lived in silence, speaking only to her confessor, completely obedient, never complaining, utterly forgotten by the outside world, and spending all free time in prayer, frequently going into ecstasies and receiving visions.




Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Lucy of Narni“. CatholicSaints.Info. 11 August 2020. Web. 26 October 2021. <>