Key to Umbria: Spoleto

Blessed Christina Semenzi  (14th February)

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Relics of Blessed Christina Semenzi

San Gregorio Maggiore

Christina was born in a poor peasant family at Calvisano (near Brescia) in 1435.  She was an unusually pious child and became an Augustinian tertiary when she was 14.  After her parents died, she became a hermit in Rome. 

She visited Assisi in 1457 for the Festa del Perdono and there met Galizia, a lady from Spoleto who invited her to the city.  She devoted her time there to serving the poor at the Ospedale di San Matteo.   She died in 1458 and her relics were preserved under the Altare di San Michele in San Nicolò.  A cult developed when miracles were reported at her tomb. 

Confusion later arose between Christina Semenzi and another Augustinian tertiary called Christina (later Agostina) Camozzi da Lugano, who was reputed to have been a descendant of the Visconti lords of Milan.  She was perhaps 20 years older than Christina Semenzi so she would have been over 40 in 1458.  An investigation carried out in 1999 revealed that the relics were those of a women in her early twenties, thus removing the possibility that they are those of Christina Camozzi.

Fra. Saverio Amoretti, the Procurator General of the Augustinian Order revived the cult of the Blessed Christina in 1834 and Pope Gregory XVI confirmed her beatification.

Her uncorrupted body was moved with the friars of San Nicolò to the church of the Madonna di Loreto in 1803.  This community was subsequently suppressed and the relics were moved to San Gregorio Maggiore in 1921.