Twelfth-century German ascetic, virgin. She was somehow related to the counts of Abenberg, but the only other substantiated fact of her life is her construction of a small church dedicated to St. Peter at Abenberg, near Nuremberg, Germany. She hoped eventually to establish beside it a monaster for nuns that she intended to enter, but she died before accomplishing her plan. Her brothers, monks in the Cistercian abbey of heilsbronn, which they had founded (1132), were eager—according to the 16th-century legend—to bring her body to their abbey for burial; but the horses refused (a commonplace in medieval hagiography), turning instead to her own church of St. Peter, where she was buried in a grave marked by a 12th-century tombstone with her effigy. marienberg abbey was later built on the spot (c. 1495) for augustini an nuns. Her cult, first attested in 1480, was approved by the bishop of Eichstätt in 1897 on the grounds that it antedated 1534, and later (1927) it received papal approval. Stilla's many favors (the bollandists list 55 miracles) have been acknowledged, especially by wax votive images.
Feast: July 19.
Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum July 4:656–663. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4 vol. (New York 1956) 3:149–150. a. bauch, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2nd new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 9:1082–83.
[c. m. aherne]