Event Category: Religous/Spiritual
Celebration of Santa Beatriz de Silva
diffuser of the Immaculate Conception
Santa Beatriz de Silva was a Portuguese Catholic nun who founded the Order of the Immaculate Conception (Franciscan Conceptionists), dedicated to contemplative prayer.
The Saint was born in 1426 in Ceuta, a city in northern Africa overlooking the Mediterranean, and which at that time was under the control of the crown of Portugal.
Beatriz’s mother, following the family tradition, was very devoted to the Order of San Francisco and therefore entrusted the religious education of her eleven children to the Franciscan Fathers, who sowed in their souls a special love for the Immaculate Conception.
The fifth of Beatriz’s brothers, called Juan and then Beato Amadeo de Silva, took the habit of San Francisco and founded the association called “Amadeistas”.
Beatriz arrives in Castilla in 1447 accompanying as maid to Isabel de Portugal, cousin of King Alfonso V of Portugal, who came from his kingdom to marry the King of Castile, Juan II.
However, after some time, because her beauty caused the admiration of the nobles or, perhaps, because the queen herself feared to see in her a dangerous rival, Beatriz left the royal court that was in Tordesillas (Valladolid) and entered the Cistercian monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos, in Toledo, where for 30 years he dedicated himself solely to God.
After almost thirty years of dedication to God, he decided to found a new monastery that was the first seat of the Order of the Immaculate Conception.
In 1489, at the request of Beatrice and Queen Isabella the Catholic, Pope Innocent VIII authorized the founding of the new monastery and approved the main rules. However, before she began regular life in the new monastery, Beatriz died in 1492.
The new religious family spread rapidly through various European nations and later also in America. Currently it is formed by some 3,000 religious who live in 150 monasteries scattered around the world.
The cult to Santa Beatriz was confirmed by Pío XI the 28 of July of 1926 with the title of Beata. She was canonized on October 3, 1976 by Pope Paul VI and her remains are preserved for public veneration in the Mother House of Toledo in Spain.