Cevoli, Florida, Bl.

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Baptized Lucrezia Elena, Poor Clare mystic; b. Pisa, Italy, Nov. 11, 1685; d. Città di Castello (Perugia), Umbria, Italy, June 12, 1767. As the daughter of Curzio Cevoli and his wife, Countess Laura della Seta, Lucrezia was born into a life of privilege. During her schooling under the Poor Clares of San Martin Convent, Pisa (178085), she discerned a call to religious life and contemplation. On June 7, 1703, despite opposition from her family, Lucrezia became Florida upon entering the Poor Clares at Città di Castello, where Saint Veronica giuliani was her novice mistress. Following her profession (June 10, 1704), Sister Florida held various offices, including cook, novice mistress, pharmacist, and vicaress. She succeeded Veronica as abbess in 1727 and was reelected to that office for the next thirty years, with some breaks. Mother Florida was distinguished by her spirit of prayer and fidelity to the Rule. As abbess she is remembered for reforming the community and encouraging her sisters to receive the Eucharist weekly. At her beatification on May 16, 1993, Pope John Paul II noted that her sharing in the problems of contemporary society while cloistered is attested "by the correspondence she maintained with some influential individuals of her time and her authoritative mediation for peace."

Feast: June 12.

Bibliography: l. de aspurz iriarte, Beata Florida Cevoli, discepola di santa Veronica Giuliani (Siena 1993).

[k. i. rabenstein]