St. Virginia Centurione Bracelli
The saint of the day is St. Virginia Centurione Bracelli. She was born in Genoa, Italy April 2, 1587; died in Genoa on December 15, 1651, and canonized by Pope John Paul II on May 18, 2003.
Born and raised in an aristocratic family which was nonetheless pious, she longed to consecrate herself to God in the religious life, but she was pressured into an arranged marriage at the age of 15 on account of her social status, and had two daughters.
Her husband, a drinker and gambler, died after five years of marriage and Virginia dedicated her time to raising her children and prayer and works of charity, which she devoted herself to entirely once her children had grown up, caring for the sick, elderly and abandoned.
She founded a refuge center in Genoa in 1625 which soon became overrun with the needy and she rented an empty convent in 1631 where she cared for the sick with the help of other women, and she instructed the women in the faith.
She constructed a church dedicated to Our Lady of Refuge, and soon the women who worked with her in the hospital were formed into two congregations Sisters of Our Lady of Refuge in Mount Calvary, and Daughters of Our Lady on Mount Calvary.
Victoria retired from the administration of the orders and performed manual labour and begged for alms, but was called back to administrative duties soon after.
She began to receive visions and locutions in the latter years of her life.