Blessed Louise degli Albertoni,
Feast day: January 31
Born in Rome, Italy, 1474 Or 1473;
cultus approved in 1671.
Beatified January 28, 1671, St. Peter's Basilica by Pope Clem ent X
Louise married James de Citara and bore him three children. After his death, Louise put on the habit of the Franciscan tertiary and spent her life in works of charity
Ludovica Albertoni 1473-1533, sometimes known as Louisa Albertoni or Ludovica Albertoni Cetera, is considered a blessed person in Christianity. Her feast day is January 31.
Ludovica was born into a wealthy and prominent family in the Roman nobility. From a young age, Ludovica was a dedicated Christian and hoped to remain an unwed virgin so that she could "cling only to Christ." Despite this, her parents arranged her betrothal and, in humble obedience, Ludovica was married to nobleman Giacomo Della Cetera. Ludovica and her new spouse moved to Trastevere, where they raised three daughters. But in 1506, when Ludovica was just thirty-three years of age, Giacomo died and Ludovica became a widow.
Not long after her husband's death, Ludovica joined the Franciscan tertiaries at San Francesco a Ripa in Rome. As a tertiary, Ludovica spent her fortune and ultimately sacrificed her health caring for the poor. She was renowned for her religious ecstasies (including levitation), and became known as a miracle worker.
Ludovica died of a fever on January 31, 1533 at the age of sixty. Some one hundred and forty years later, on January 28, 1671, Ludovica was beatified by Pope Clement X. Her cause for canonization is still pending.
Ludovica is best remembered by Gian Lorenzo Bernini's sculpture, Beata Ludovica Albertoni (1672-74), housed in the Altieri Chapel in the church of San Francesco a Ripa. 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.