Villana de' Botti


A brief biography.


Villana, born ca 1332, was the daughter of Andrea di Lapo de' Botti (also de’Bothi or delle Botte), a Florentine merchant. When she was thirteen she ran away from home to enter a priory but her attempts were unsuccessful and she was forced to return. To prevent any repetition of her flight, her father shortly afterwards gave her July 1351 in marriage to Rosso di Piero Benintendi (+1391).

After her marriage she appeared completely changed; she gave herself up to pleasure and dissipation and lived a wholly idle and worldly life. But she changed her life and joined the Third Order of St. Dominic.

Fulfilling all her duties as a married woman, she spent her available time in prayer and reading specially St. Paul's Epistles. So completely did she give herself up to God that she was often rapt in ecstacy, particularly during Mass or at spiritual conferences.


As she lay on her deathbed, she asked that the Passion should be read to her, and at the words "He bowed His head and gave up the ghost", she crossed her hands on her breast and passed away, January 1361.

Her body was taken to Santa Maria Novella, where it became an object of veneration. Her bereaved husband use to say that, when he felt discouraged and depressed, he found strength by visiting the room in which his beloved wife had died.

The Italian architect and sculptor Bernardo Rossellino, (1409-Sept. 23, 1464), created the "Tomb of the Blessed Villana delle Botte" (1451-52) in
Florence, Santa Maria Novella.

The Villana's cults was confirmed by pope Leo XII on March 27th, 1824. Her beatification 1829.





Fra Angelico, EM 53:Lamentation over the Dead Christ,
Tempera on panel, 105 x 164 cm.

Museo di San Marco, Florence.

To the left St. Dominic and to the right blessed Villana
de' Botti

The entire painting: Palestinian Authority 2001, Mi 175, Sc 142.

Antigua and Barbuda 1992, Mi 1625, 1626; Sc 1559,1560.

Idem with overprint Barbuda Mail: Barbuda 1992, Mi 1381,1382,




Fresco by Fra Angelico, EM 81.  

Presentation at the temple (151x131 cm, 1440/1441).

Villana de’ Botti, right

Museo di San Marco, Cell 10, Florence.

Gambia 1991, Mi 1288, Sc 





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