Dictionary of Saintly Women – Blessed Baptista Varani


Blessed Baptista Varani, or Camilla, May 31. O.S.F. +1527. Her family were princes of Camerino, in Umbria. Her father, Julius Caesar Varano, or Verano, served with distinction, first in the wars of Venice, and afterwards under Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, and was at one time Viceroy of Naples for King Ferdinand. Her mother was Joanna Malatesta of Rimini. They had four sons and one daughter, called at first Camilla. She was born in troubled times. Two of her father’s brothers, with their sons, had been put to death for being implicated in a conspiracy. In 1481 Camilla took the veil at Urbino, and with it the name of Baptista. After a few years she returned to Camerino, and was made abbess of the nuns of the Order of Saint Clara there. She wrought miracles, and was revered as a saint by the people of Camerino during her life. She was a mystic, and received many marks of divine favour. She was carried in the spirit by two angels to the foot of the cross, and remained there two months. Christ placed three lilies on her breast. She had revelations of the mental sufferings of Christ, and wrote an account of them.

In 1502 the Camerentines gave themselves up to Pope Alexander VI. His son, Caesar Borgia, cruelly slaughtered Baptista’s father, who had ruled virtuously for nearly half a century, and three of his sons; the youngest survived, his father having sent him with the treasure to Venico at the beginning of the war. He was eventually reinstated is his possessions, and, after the death of Alexander, the two following Popes confirmed him in the principality or dukedom of Camerino. In 1527, on the death of Baptista, this brother, John Mary, made a magnificent funeral in her honour, and the people began at once to venerate her as a great saint.

MLA Citation

  • Agnes B C Dunbar. “Blessed Baptista Varani”. A Dictionary of Saintly Women, 1904. CatholicSaints.Info. 21 September 2012. Web. 16 May 2021. <http://catholicsaints.info/dictionary-of-saintly-women-blessed-baptista-varani/>