Blessed Lucrezia Bellini of Padua 


Blessed Eustochus (Bl. Lucrezia Bellini) Benedictine Nun - Padua 1444-1469

With the very careful advice of C. Gasparotto, P. Sambin, C. Bellinati and L. Maschietto, in 1965 a group of pupils of the "Tito Livio" in Padua (Giuliana Anselmii, Pier Franco Bea-trite, Francesco Iori, Isabella Mazzucco , Anna Pagnotta, Mariarosa Salmazzo, Roberta Spain) made an important search regarding Padua's Beata Eustochio. The work was then entrusted to the Dorotee Sisters. Even after years, we believe that work deserves publication.

PRAYER TO BEAUTIFUL EUSTOCHUS O powerful advocate Blessed Eustochus, you were awakened among us by God, to be a bright model of virtue, especially of extraordinary patience. Your life, marked by the Cross, is obvious evidence. Please pray for us now. May we receive the grace in the wake of your example and of contemplating the tribulations and sufferings of this life, as a gift coming from God's paternal hand, for our true good. Let us embrace, in your imitation, with peace and trust, the sufferings of our lives, certain to be one day rewarded by the God of patience and consolation. Be Himself the abundant reward, for those who willingly submit to his most loving disposition. So be it. Father - Ave - Gloria (Imprimatur Padua, 29-3-2000, Bishop Dr. Mario Morellato, Vic. Gen.)


In 1405, the Signoria of the Carraresi fell in Padua, when it’s people came under the rule of the Republic of Venice. This brought an end to two centuries of tyranny, restlessness and constant war, and released new political and administrative organization for economic and cultural growth.

The territory of Padua was divided into seven podesteri and six vicars. The Government of Padua was organized in this way: every sixteen months the Venetian Senate sent two senators to support them, one of them being the deputy head of the judiciary, the other being the captain of the military. In addition, two noblemen were sent as camerlenghi (treasury officers) with the task of administering the public money, disengaging from the podestà, and two other noblemen as castellani, heads of the military garrison and assigned by the captain. A Major Council razed the government of Padua which elected subordinate magistrates and six vicars. It had its statutes, a kind of legislative code, which in 1420 had been improved by the Venetian Senate and assumed the name "reformed Code."

What matters most is the religious situation of 15th century Padua. First, all Venetian domination brought about the electing by the Senate of the Republic, city ‘bishops’ (officials), whereas before they had always been named directly by the Roman Pontiff, and almost always chosen from among the patriots of the most prominent Venetian families.

It is worth recalling that the Patriarchs of Venice, never intimidated in the manner of other churches, "For the grace of God and the Apostolic seat," but always "For divine clemency" where true "miseratione divina" was indicative of the continuing careless attitude of the Republic of Venice towards any form of external taxation.

In 1469, the first Mount of Pietà was established in Padua by the friar Michele of Milan, a preacher, with the aim of advancing loans to the poor. In addition, under the Venetian rule, in the 15th century, the city was embellished with remarkable sacred buildings such as the Church of St. Francis of 1420; the central dome of St. Antonio's Basilica of 1424; the church of St. John of Verdara in 1450, and constructions such as the civic hospice of 1420 and the Capitano building of 1428.

Few cities, like Padua, had such a large number of churches, parishes, convents, monasteries, confraternities. Based on a populace that still did not reach 30,000, one would not expect to find 20 friaries and nearly 30 convents, not counting other minor churches and parishes that totalled over 30 other communities.

In spite of this large number of churches that would assumedly bode well for the city's religious life, corruption was great in the ecclesiastical sectors, as in most of Europe, so much so that from everywhere voices arose of protest that demanded prompt and effective reform of customs.

At the time of the Great Counsels of Constance and Basel, we already begin to see reform, and on the other hand, conclusion of the second great cycle of the Church’s history in a deep moral, theological crisis that is the prelude to the religious unity and authority crisis of the 1500s. In Padua, in particular, the comfort of the customs found a favorable time during the holidays of the Bishop's Seat after the death of Fantino Dandolo in 1459 and the dispute that followed between Pope Pius II Piccolomini and the Senate Venetian for the election of the successor, who was then, by common agreement, elected in the person of Iacopo II Zeno, a man of letters and of illibati costum (chaste disposition). He will, as we shall see, effect in his diocese a reform of the customs with firm and decisive wrist. It is in this historical frame that is placed the life of the Blessed Eustachio to whom this quest is devoted.

To the west of Padua, at the last moons of the fifteenth century, the monastery of St. Prosdocimo of the Benedictine Order was erected, where the disciples were very relaxed. Not yet having greeted the brake of a cloister, as instituted by the Council of Trent, secular could enter day and night. The educators and especially the nuns had a behavior that was far from religious; among them the old Maiorina, who in the past had loved to indulge in pleasures, was now a teacher of malice to others. Barozzi, one of the biographers of the Blessed One, without euphemism, called this monastery a lupanar (brothel). Maiorina, then, in 1442 went to the hill of Gemola, three miles from Este (Padua), where there was the church of St. John, with an annexed monastery of the Benedictine Virgins, which had been erected in 1221 under the patronage of Blessed Beatrice, daughter of Azzone VIII, Marquis d'Este, and Leonora, daughter of Thomas III, Count of Savoy. Maiorina induced one of these nuns, Maddalena Cavalcabò, to follow her into the monastery of St. Prosdocimo, with the pretext of making her change, while in her heart already also committing her to sin.

In Padua, in the garden of the monastery of St. Prosdocimo, there was at that time the home of a certain Bartolomeo Bellini, already married, a young man so fascinating and corrupt. By Maiorina's care, Maddalena met him in the cloister, initially amazed, but then complacent; the young nun gave up her flattery. When the wretched Maddalena realized that she was about to become a mother, terrified and lost, she avoided a scandal in the Gemola monastery and stayed in St. Prosdocimo until she gave birth to a little girl. Then she returned to Gemola where, filled with regret, she tried to redeem herself and died in the grace of God.

Thus in 1444, while he was Bishop of Padua Peter VII Donato and Sergeant Luca Tron of the Avogador de Comun, Lucrezia Bellini was born, so bathed for the will of her father who entrusted her to a younger man until age four. Then he took her with him, but her stepmother hated her, as she saw in her the evidence of her husband's sin. Her father and his wife, maltreated her much in public.

Since childhood, Lucrezia was very devoted to St. Gerolamo and the Virgin. When she was four, she began to suspect that she was possessed by the devil. She suffered obsessions, yet not without awareness. She often seemed arrogant towards her family; but this was not her doing, but the harassment of the devil. In those moments her mind was always kept in God.

She was subjected to ritual exorcisms and it seemed that the devil had gone. Although no violent crisis continued, her father and stepmother were intolerant of her, and she was often beaten.


The father, when the child was seven, discovered that his wife wanted to poison her and to prevent her, he thought of killing her. According to the opinion of some biographers (Cordara, Salìo, Barozzi, Salicario) the devil inspired such thoughts. But then, not wanting to see her dead, the demon suggested that she be entrusted to the nuns of the same monastery where she was born, so that in the midst of such corruption she too would lose.

In 1451, while Fantino Dandolo (1448-1459) was Bishop of Padua and Podestà Sertio Mattius Vitturi, the Avogador de Comun, her father entrusted the child to the nuns of St. Prosdocimo, not to give her a religious education, not to bless the monastery with a vocation, but only to learn the usual female work, be given eventually to engagement and then marriage.

Among the educators, the youngest would lead lives of corruption. In that year the community consisted of seven nuns plus the Badessa (abbess). The nuns led a very fat life, coming out frequently from the monastery, mingling with seculars and receiving them in turn in the cloisters; all this to the grave damage of their good name and dishonor of their institute. But the perfidy of those nuns came to the point, among other crimes, to speed up the death of the Abbess, a woman of healthy custom, who forbade them to leave the monastery or converse, trying to bring them back to religious life, and thus arousing their resentment.


At the death of the Badessa, the Bishop of Padua Iacopo II Zeno (1460-1481) forbade them to elect a new Abbess, as they would certainly have chosen one of themselves and the life of the monastery would continue in corruption, the Bishop trying to terminate the scandal.

Nuns and educators, fearing a reform, fled to relatives and friends. In the monastery remained only sixteen year old Lucrezia. A trial was opened in 1460 with Vicari Pavini and Marco Negri, Catarco's Ward, and they found more than they imagined. In the acts of the trial, Lucrezia's essay expressed that it was certainly the divine arm that removed the bad examples of teachers.

The Bishop then thought of founding a new community at St. Prosdocimo and pulled from the monastery of Misericordia, Giustina de Lazara, the noble Paduana and pious nun, and other sister educators of virtuous mien, to transfer them to St. Prosdocimo, installing de Lazara as Abbess.

Lucrezia asked to be clothed in the monastic habit. The other nuns, however, did not see this with kind eyes, being aware of her origins and believing that she too was corrupt as the religious that taught her in the monastery. However, the bishop accepted the request of Lucrezia and on January 15, 1461, from the confessor of the monastery Niccolò she was accepted into the community by the name of Eustochus, in memory of the Roman lady disciple of St. Jerome. About the etymology of the name we find in the Salìo: "Eussius, Latin as “vulgar, without any error”, Eustheus apologizes it as a Greek-dimensional name, so neutral, that would sound like “Eustate", EYCTOXAZOMAI, which means "in the middle, benign."

The priest addressed Paola, Lucrezia and other postulants during the consecration, where it happened, that, the Sacred Host fell to the ground, provoking the nuns to make a thousand suppositions of the 'insignificant episode’.


From age four until August 30, 1461, that is to say, one month after St. Jerome's feast, the oppressing demon had not been very visible. For some biographers it remained hidden for only eight months and ten days, that is, from the date she was accepted in the community until the end of August 1461. During this time the little shortcomings she committed began to multiply and she seemed very agitated. The confessor of the monastery, Gerolamo Salicario, who always comforted her, was able to reveal to the Badessa and to the other monks that Eustochus was possessed by the devil. Among the nuns, this caused a kind of rebellion, and no one spoke anymore. On October 1, 1461 (the day after the St. George's Day), an incident occurred in the cloister where Eustochus, driven by the devil, threatened the other nuns with a knife. Salicario, with the help of exorcisms, coaxed the spirit to speaking, and this, according to Eustochus's mouth, he said, to be nailed to a bench by St. Jerome, the proponent of the nun. Indeed, it seemed that she could not stop moving around and because she continued to shake dangerously, required her to be tied to a column for a several days. She calmed down, but naturally it was all the worse for her companions. Soon the Abbess got sick and the doctors could not understand the nature of the evil.

They also found in the monastery strange superstitious items, as defined by the Cordara, and suspected that magical agents were used by Eustochus to poison the Abbess, in the wake of the wretched nuns before.


As a result of these facts, by episcopal mandate, Eustochus was imprisoned, to await trial and execution.

Imprisoned with her was Paola, the other postulant suspected of the same fault only because she had been seen speaking with her. Paola was eventually released, while Eustochus remained incarcerated. Her imprisoners fed her only bread and water, and every three days starved her of food altogether, trying to induce her confession. Meanwhile, the townspeople, so easily influenced by opinion of a few, stormed the monastery, wanting to burn her alive without trial.

She spent all her time praying to resist the temptations of the devil who tried to break her chains and open the doors of the prison if she would deny Christ. Those who had particularly hated her were specially chosen to be her jailers. She asked them one day for her Breviary, to be strengthened, but she was refused. Meanwhile, the devil continued to torment her. While she prayed, tempted to self harm using a needle, she shielded herself by saying the Sub Tuum Praesidium. She also suffered many unusual noises that distracted her meditations.


Salicario, convinced of her innocence, sought to intercede on her behalf with the Abbess and finally was allowed to have a meeting with Eustochus. At the confessor's questions, however, the nun affirmed in front of everyone that she was the ‘fellow of the Venetian’. This convinced all but Salicario, of her guilt, who, supposed that she had been forced by the devil to say such things. The accusing rather, wanted to press on with her interrogation, but Eustochus denied it.

One day Eustochus was discovered looking at a nun from the prison window. Her sisters responded, that if she were to remain in complete solitude, she also be ordered to close the only window in the spire. Salicario hoping now only in the Divine Auspice to release Eustochus, begged the prayers of the nuns of the monastery of St. Gerolamo, which later became St. Teresa. The whole city was concerned with the matter of a nun capable of poisoning her Superior and the greatest difficulty was to be able to convince the high Paduan officials of Eustochus’ innocence.


After three months of imprisonment an angel appeared to the Abbess ordering them to release Eustochus, sending her away from the monastery. But it was all of the devil, attempting to accomplish by order of the Superiora herself, to lead Eustochus to temptation to abandon the monastery, to return to the world. The Badessa then called her older brother, Francesco de Lazara, to take her in.

He went to Eustochus and promised her a husband and a good gift if she left the monastery: for she had not yet pronounced her final vows, and was still free to leave the community. He also reminded her that her father loved her and could provide a great deal. But failing to convince her, de Lazara proposed at least to leave the monastery as she was not understood by her companions. But she refused to leave, and in the face of so much frustration, even de Lazara became convinced of her innocence and tried with the Confessor to persuade her sister and other nuns to receive her. These attempts could not prevent the ruling by the bishop, whose order was necessary. Her exile would have been for three months in an out-of-town villa, but this was now not possible, to avoid the contagion of plague. However, Salicario vouchsafed for her and Eustochus was liberated.


She was instead locked up in an infirmary, a prison cell more bright and close to the cells of the sick.

One day, the devil, calling himself Mammon, took bandages and tried to strangle Eustochus. Monks, hearing the clamor, left their farming and not receiving an answer to their questions, broke down the door and found her on the floor, and immediately tried to resuscitate her. Later, a nun named Dalmatina who became ill of plague, or at least believed so, was entrusted to care for Eustochus in the hope that she would become infected.

Eustochus often fainted while being served by Dalmatina, which naturally frightened her. Then another nun named Euphrasia offered her fearless assistance. When she saw Eustochus agitated, or being thrown on the floor by the devil, she stayed with her and assisted her. Dalmatina, in the meantime, gradually recovered, but realized that she had not been stricken with the plague at all.

Thus Eustochus was finally released but with many prohibitions: she could not go to church for sacred ceremonies; she could not go to talk or converse with anyone, no matter how often her relatives visited. The other nuns wanted her to be "excommunicated," which in this case only indicates expulsion from the community of St. Prosdocimo. By the latter it was said that Eustochus pretended to be tormented by the devil to arouse pity.


She suffered all this hatred with much love and often recited the prayers from the solemnity of St. Stephen, in which the Holy Father's help was invoked to love her enemies.

For four consecutive years, the devil continued to torment her with incredible cruelty and in the most unthinkable ways beat her with a scourge of ropes studded with copper points, which rubbed and scored her flesh like a knife, especially her neck, so that she bled; she was dragged on the ground, thrown around violently, thrashed, tied up with ropes so tightly as to have no possibility of movement. The devil did not allow her to escape, punctured her veins, tightened a sharp cilicus compressing her head, immersed her in frozen water, forced her to drink large amounts of water mixed with calcina and vernice. Once he even made her eat a fried spinach prepared with putrid oil, which, according to doctors, would suffice to poison a person. And this is not all: often poor Eustochus felt as if she were burning in the flames of an oven. At other times she hallucinated of many razor blades that would tear her flesh off.

One day the devil took her to a very high place and, in general dismay, threatened to throw her off if she did not refuse Christ. When she came to, she found that Salicario had saved her by casting out the demon with rite of exorcism. He dragged her off another time and locked her up in a room where, uttering horrible blasphemies, wounded her to bleeding. For this same vow, however, the demon was punished by St. Gerolamo and St. Luke, from whom he said that he had been beaten and detained. Still later, the devil put on a knife to her chest, threatening to strike her to the heart, but she, unshakable in her faith, replied that she had the name IESU on her chest, and indeed when her sisters unclothed her for burial after her death, found the Holy Name engraved on her body.


The nuns, when they saw all of this, finally began to have compassion and brought her to the Basilica of S. Giustina to visit the tomb of St. Luke, the protector of the faithful: from this visit she received much benefit and the demon loosened the string that held her close to him, and left her. Eustochus received communion often and confessed every seven days.

Finally, at the beginning of 1465 she was admitted to the choir and March 25 to the profession. Four months earlier, on St. Martin's Day (November 11, 1464), she was elected to God in the presence of the confessor, on her knees in front of the Badessa and the other religious, within closed doors. Salicario states that in his day he retained the manuscript of the license he held in his hand when she pronounced her vows.

Being very weak from the devil's cruelties during confinement she was unable to rise from the bed to take the black veil of the Church. So on September 14, 1467, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross she was received instead by the Bishop, the confessor who took her from bed. Six days later, with strength, so that the sisters would see a miracle, St. Matthew's Day (September 21) she went to church to receive the veil officially, but without pomp, by a simple priest, because in his humility he did not want to bother the Bishop.


Eustochus always led an exemplary life, renouncing small pleasures such as camaraderie, activities in which she was very good, and going to the parlor. She was always alone by meditating on spiritual things and had frequent spirited conversations with her confessor concerning the problems of the soul. She often read Holy Scripture, especially the Epistles of St. Paul, the Confessions of St. Augustine, the letters of St. Gerolamo and St. Bernard, and the dialogues of St. Gregory. Judging not to own anything for herself, she gave the Abbess the key to the box where she kept her poor things, and almost all the other nuns followed her miraculous example.

In the choir she chose the most hidden place because her eyes did not sit on the faithful or on the celebrant. She served and obeyed all the nuns, prayed for them and her parents, and with her prayers helped her father to die peacefully.

In all this harassment she never complained, she always smiled and thanked the Lord. To prove how virtuous she was, her biographers reported a significant episode. Caterina Cornaro's wedding with Giacomo's king of Cyprus came with so much glitter that it was talked about everywhere in the city and also in the monastery. But Eustochus in this regard, said that she would not exchange her torments with all those joys and pleasures. She preferred to be in the body of this life for Christ, rather than have momentary joys and passions.

Her great faith was animated by the deep conviction that earthly life is only a prologue that God subjects on every man for winning eternal reward or punishment. For this reason, she felt that she was particularly fortunate for the terrible sufferings that increased her perseverance in Christ’s love that would lead others to him.

She did not pray for the torments that the devil had given her. She made other penances for herself, such as eating very little, once a day, in the evening, and almost succumbed in this because she enjoyed food.

She never wanted to eat meat, even when she was sick and weak and was also troubled very often for two or three days later. She was so repelled by any vanity that she was content to own a single garment. Even so, from insomnia she was always up early in the morning to go to church to hear the Holy Mass. She refused always to indulge in the slightest sense of joy, she never allowed the sight of a curious bird, a tasty snack or a stroll. Though she was so weak as to be able to stand only with a cane for twenty-three years, she kept fasting two days a week. Because of these deprivations, her beauty was completely bruised, her body debilitated, but her mind was always firm in Christ.


She made not only corporal mortification, but also prayed very much. Her devotion was directed in particular to the Virgin Mary. Since the time when she was in solitary confinement, she recited each day a crown of Psalms: "Magnificat," "Ad Dominum cum tribularer," " Ego sum servus tuus " "Domine Deus," “Levavi oculos meos in montes,", “Domine labia mea aperies"; or reciting another prayer choir whose initials also formed the name of the Virgin: "Missus est", "Assumpta est", "Rubrum quem viderat Mojses," "In odorem," "Ave Maria” She also recited the “Memento salutis auctor", and “Ego sepulchre dilectationis”. Other favorite prayers included: "Qui habitat", "Sub tuum praesidium", "Kyrie eleison", "Pater noster", "Interveniat pro nobis quaesumus Domine”.

She was particularly devoted to St. Gerolamo, St. Luke, St. Joseph, St. Anna, St. Joachim, S. Eli-sabetta, St. John the Baptist, St. Paul, that is, of those saints who had been close to the Madonna and to Jesus, besides St. Gerolamo and St. Luke, protectors of the clergy, and St. Paul, who honors so much the name of Jesus, repeated so often in his Epistles.

She always had a Crucifix with her and she prayed frequently before images of the Passion hanging on the walls of her modest cell. For example, in front of the image of Jesus linked to the column of Pontius Pilate she recited many "Paters" and "Aves" with her hands tied behind her back.


Though she was weak, the demon continued to torment her. For example, once she handed the confessor a bloody scourge, with which she said she had been beaten. And this scourge according to Salicario had holy effects.

However, Eustochus continued in her exemplary life, always trying to achieve greater perfection. She executed the orders of the Abbess and the confessor without wondering if they were more or less right, since the rule of St. Benedict prescribes the utmost obedience; she consulted her superiors even in matters of smallest importance.

She eventually felt her life force diminished and came near to dying. But death did not frighten her, because she could so gather to Jesus and to prepare for this decisive step in the last two years of her life, prayed continuously.

Wishing to remain alone in meditation, she asked Euphrasia to tell her companions, who, for pious practice, wanted to visit her, but did not tell her, thanking her for their good heart. In order to win even the slightest fear that the thought of death arouses in every man, she wanted to be present at the time of the passing of the five sisters who made the soul to God in the last year of her life.

Her only spiritual comfort in such harsh hours when the devil was trying to overcome that fiasco so well tried, was to be able to converse with her confessor. The biographers claim that the devil, to take away that last consolation, also caused Salicario to be bored with those conversations and to abandon Eustochus to her maids. But here, when she invoked the Virgin's intercession by reciting one hundred "Ave Marias", her sisters said she was relieved of occult forces.

She received communion and confessed more and more to the effect that the presence of Christ possessed her spirit. The devil did his last terrible attempts: he tried in vain to cut her arteries. But now what came out of the wounds was no more blood but blood and water. The harassment even increased from the advent of 1468 until the day before Mary's Purification (February 2, 1469), eleven days before her death. Then the devil ceased to torment her in the body, grieving her spirit inwardly. He gave her visions of unbridled diverse horrors. Euphrasia was terrified, telling her that she would surely go to Hell. Causing all these bad thoughts, the devil hoped she would give up. But Eustochus, drawing from this, admonished Euphrasia, who even at the point of death was certain of her salvation, for only one Amen renders the fatigue of all life sane and holy.


Her life about to end, seven days before her death, gathering last strength, she went to church to receive Viaticum by the grace of the Lord. On Sunday before death, she asked to confess, feeling it would be the last time.

She then prayed to Euphrasia not to leave her alone that night, and that sister who, alone among them, had assisted and comforted her in her atrocious sufferings, and at that supreme moment did not abandon her.

In the silence of the cell, that life sprang up. Euphrasia watched beside her in the darkness. When, at midnight, there was a loud noise. Her sister started and it seemed to her that the noise was produced by someone trying to climb the cell wall to get out. Then the cell rested in silence and the silvery glow of the rays of the moon that filtered from the window made Euphrasia's eyes appear in the serene beauty of that face no longer troubled by the presence of the devil.

The next day she found her alive, in serenity. Eustochus wanted to call the Abbess and the other nuns to give them the warmest greeting. She asked them to forget the bad example and the disturbances she had caused. Then she closed hers eyes, no one noticing, and as if gently lifted, she left. It was Monday, February 13, 1469.


Immediately after her death numerous miracles confirmed her holiness. As he tells it, the confessor adored and the Blessed Glory of Glories appeared to him in a dream, saying to hiim, "How much sweetness, how much joy, or how much bliss!" Then she disappeared, and he woke up with a gentle sweetness in his heart. At that time some people thought they saw Eustochus ascending to heaven, and so before the news of her death was officially given by the nuns, the fallen man came to know from the city. Those who were alive, who had slandered her, pondered the pity. The sisters began to perform the pious funeral practices: as it was in use, they washed the body and found the name IESU engraved above the heart, evident sign of the love she had for Christ even amidst atrocious torments. Her body exuded a sweet smell that did not resemble any of the scents of earth and was therefore defined by the biographers “in the odor of Paradise." Such scent persisted for years and years near the sepulcher; it was perceptible, however, not by those who came in for curiosity, but only by those who went to pray.

Having cared for her, the sisters dressed her in the monastic gown and buried her in the cloister of the monastery. In the meantime, the fame of Eustochus' holiness spread all around the city, increased by the wonders, hymns and prayers were made in her honor, though her cult had not yet been named. Great was the influx of the faithful to her tomb, especially of the priests who received much benefit and were often healed through these visits.

Bishop Iacopo Zeno then wanted to test the truthfulness of these miracles, and brought an ill woman who recognized in her sepulcher the obsessed one. Approaching the tomb, and more grateful, the woman had to be dragged away, back to life. She had come screaming, stayed as if nailed to the place, and tried to strangle herself with one of those funiculars that at that time used to hold tight the sleeves of women's clothes. Salicario, who was present, tried to break the binding, and despite mustering all strength, failed. But by a miracle the binding suddenly broke, sparing the woman. This was yet another sign of Eustochus’ holiness.

Three years and nine months after her death, mollified by miracles and the perfume, the bishop granted permission to resurrect the remains to give them more worthy burial. The translation took place on November 16, 1472, in the presence of a certain Giovanni doctor and Vicar of the bishop, Taddeo Lucrini, Venetian gentleman, Salicario, all nuns and other Paduan personalities. Although Eustochus had been buried without ash, her body and clothes were still intact. The body was covered with new clothes and the old used to make relics; then she was placed in a cypress chest in the Chapel of the monastery. Three years later, on November 14, 1475, the coffin was transported to church and placed to the left of the main altar, that is, on the same side where the Gospel was read during Holy Mass, and in a marble monument on whose slab was engraved "Blessed Eustochus, Paduan."

Every year, on February 13, on the anniversary day of her death, she was transported behind a grate from which all standing in the church could see her, as if in a chapel; around her were ceri and throughout the day the people could go to pray to her. In 1676 a special altar was constructed, but her body was not always displayed. As the people wanted it, in 1721, as Salicario says, or in 1720, for the Cordara, the nuns erected a marble altar above the plane of which, between the columns, a canvas with the effigy of the deceased blessed. Placed in a crystal box, the body was visible behind a golden grate, long as the ark, placed between the altar floor and the painting.

By decree of the Sacred Congregation of the Rites of March 22, 1760, the Mass of the «Communi Virginum» was granted to the cult of Blessed Eustochus.


Because there were many wonders after her death, her first burial had not been final, but left uncovered. After the day of the Epiphany of 1473, a very clear water appeared from the grave pit, which was not of earthly source, as it had prodigious effects on the sick, however often it was drawn, the water always rose to the same level. In some periods it stopped seeping into the pit, but then returned for a month or more, as much in droughts, confirming its miraculous nature. Within the old monastery of St. Prosdocimo, in cloistered ground near a door there was a hole surrounded by an iron railing, through which one descended into the pit, with walls like an underground dressing room. Incorporated into the pit was a marble basin with five holes, some at the sides and one at the bottom, from which flowed the water, rising almost to the rim of the basin.

Miraculous water continued to flow until April 26, 1797, when it disappeared to resume on January 20, 1798, when, with the arrival of the Austrian armies, as Padua returned to peace. Then in 1805 it ceased to flow for good. In execution of the Napoleonic Decree of April 5, 1806, the church of St. Prosdocimo with the Benedictine monastery and the source were dedicated, and the nuns moved to the monastery of St. Peter the Apostle.

On September 12, 1806, at two o'clock in the morning, the body of the Blessed One was hidden in the Church of St. Peter; during the trip two fingers and a part of the hands of the Blessed One were taken, perhaps stolen. The precautionary steps that led her to remain secret saw a great crowd following the procession until the body was placed in the chapel that faced the Chapel of St Peters, then called the "Rosary."

In the adjacent cloister, the miracle bath was installed, hoping, but in vain, that it would again flow. But here, with the Napoleonic decree of May 1810, the monastery of St. Peter, which became private property, was also repaired, and the bath was placed in a closet behind the grave.

Later, both the monastery and the church were used as military depot, and an unknown hand engraved at the tomb "September 12, 1806, Blessed Eustochus Paduana."

In 1834, Monsignor Scarpa embellished with marbles the altar that served as a sepulcher, and the Guglieli painted a canvas depicting the Blessed One toppling the devil. On February 13, 1835, the body remained exposed throughout the day to the public's veneration in a rich coffin surrounded by many candles offered by the faithful. In the evening there was a great procession with orphan children, members of confraternities, fathers of the year, cappuccinos and many other orders. Grande was the occasion of the tribute of piety that the people offered to the Blessed Eustochus.

Blessed Invocation against all sorts of evil temptations, against possessions, infestations, slanders, injustices and bullies, to obtain light to know and recognize the devil, and force to overcome him.

This daily prayer:

Pray for us Blessed Eustochus for we are worthy of the promises of Christ

Let us pray

Almighty Eternal God, who strengthened the Blessed Virgin Eustochus, against the powers of darkness with admirable virtue and an invincible patience, by her merits and prayers, allow, once released from every demonic influence, to serve you with all our soul.

Through Christ Our Lord, AMEN (Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites - March 22, 1760) Five Our Fathers, Five Hail Marys, in honor of the Five Wounds of the Redeemer.

He who received thanks for the intercession of the Blessed One is prayed for this by the Rector of the Church of St. Peter in Padua (Via S. Pietro, 127 - 35139 Padua).

Extracted from the magazine "Padua and its province" Printed by the Graphics Erredicì Padua November 1982