Madonna and Child with St Dominic and St Aurea, circa 1315
Artist: Duccio di Buoninsegna
Aurea: Latin (Golden), also known as Oria
Aurea was born around the year 1042 in the village of Villavelayo, Spain in a region controlled by Moors. As a youth, Aurea studied the Scriptures and the lives of the early martyrs of the Church. Her favorite saints to meditate on and emulate were Saint Agatha, Saint Eulalia, and Saint Cecilia.
As a young woman, Aurea decided to leave home and join a religious monastery. She was welcomed into the Benedictine monastery of San Millan de la Cogolla and completely applied herself to monastic life. Soon after entering the monastery, Aurea received a vision of her three favorite saints and was encouraged to follow her chosen lifestyle with more zeal. According to tradition, she performed many miracles and many people began to seek her advice and prayers.
Aurea spent only a few years of her life in the monastery. She died in 1069 at the age of 27.