Born April 9, 1458, the daughter of Duke Julius Caesar Varani of Camerino, Italy. As a teenager, while in contemplation of a certain homily, she had heard one particular Good Friday when she was very young, she vowed to mourn the passion of Christ every Friday for the rest of her life. It was a difficult endeavor due to her vivacious personality and the distractions her aristocratic paternal household provided. Aided by God’s grace and the support of her confessors she persevered and as time passed she grew in fervor and faith until she was able to accept, not without a great struggle with herself first and with her father later the vocation of a special consecration of her life to God. When the young Duchess announced her intentions of renouncing her royal heritage to become a Poor Clare nun at age 21 in 1479, her father objected. The Duke kept his daughter in prison in the family home for 2 ½ years. However in 1481 he finally relented and not only gave her permission to enter the poor Clares but he also built a monetary for her.
At age 23 she joined the order of Poor Clares in Urbino, Italy taking the religious of Sr. Baptista. Jesus repaid her generously by favoring her with the mystical experiences of which we find traces in her writings. These writings turned out to be true forms of teaching for all. Besides her physical suffering, she suffered greatly when her father and her brothers were killed. But even more due to a long period of “night of the spirit” Nothing availed. However, to disallude her from her ofjective to identify herself with the sufferings of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
In order to escape persecution, she sought refuge in the convent at Atri but she lived in Fermo and San Severino in order to establish her cloistered lifestyle according to the rule of St. Clare of Assissi. Sr. Camilla Baptista lead a very holy life which is noted by her experiencing the pains of the stigmata and having Jesus Christ appear to her. Sr. Camilla Baptista died in Camerino, Italy on May 31, 1524. In 1843 Pope Gregory XVI declared her Beatified.
Saint Camilla Baptista Works:
She was well versed in Latin and Italian and wrote in both languages. She was accounted one of the most accomplished scholars of her day. Her works include: “ Recordationes et instructions spirituals novem”, which she wrote about 1491; “Opus de doloribus mentalibus D.N.J.C.”, written during 1488 through 1491 and first published at Camerino in 1630; “Liber suae conversionis”, a story of her life, written in 1491 and first published at Macerata in 1624.