Saint of the Day for 17 August: St Beatrix de Silva
Founder, Mystic and Spiritual Guide
Beatrice de Silva Meneses
1424, Cauta, North Africa
01 September 1490, Toledo, Spain
28 July 1926, Rome, Pope Pius XI
03 October 1976, Rome, Pope Paul VI
Lord, who granted St Beatrice de Silva great love for the Mother of Thy Son, we ask that, following her example, we may imitate the virtues of the Virgin and be introduced through her into eternal life. Through Jesus Christ, Your Son Our Lord. Amen.
In Toledo in Castile, Spain, Saint Beatrice da Silva Meneses, a virgin, was first a noblewoman of the royal court in the retinue of Queen Isabella; later, desiring a life of greater perfection, she retired for many years among the nuns of the Order of Saint Dominic, finally founding a new Order which she named after the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Saint and Mission
St Beatrice de Silva, foundress of the Order of the Conceptionists, represents a deep commitment to the pursuit of holiness and dedication to the contemplative life. Born in Portugal in the 15th century, Beatrice was touched by a vision of the Virgin Mary that directed her to found an order dedicated to her Immaculate Conception.
St Beatrice’s mission was not only to establish a new religious order, but also to promote a deep Marian devotion, emphasising the purity and innocence of the Mother of God. This mission had a lasting impact on Christian spirituality, emphasising the importance of prayer, meditation and union with God.
In Beatrice we see a woman of great strength and determination, who despite challenges and adversity, pursued her vocation with ardour. Her life is a testimony to the power of faith and vision, showing us how a single mission can influence and inspire generations of the faithful. Through her dedication to the Virgin Mary and monastic life, St Beatrice de Silva reminds us of the importance of following the divine call and dedicating ourselves entirely to the mission God entrusts to us.
The Saint and Mercy
St Beatrice de Silva, through the foundation of the Order of the Conceptionists, embodied a profound understanding of divine mercy. Her devotion to the Virgin Mary, particularly to the Immaculate Conception, emphasises the infinite mercy of God who chooses, preserves and sanctifies.
Beatrice lived a life marked by a search for intimacy with God and a desire to reflect His mercy in the world. The order she founded was dedicated to living in purity and prayer, interceding for a world in need of God’s mercy. Moreover, her personal story, which includes fleeing the court and seeking refuge in a convent, highlights her personal experience of God’s mercy, which sustained her in times of difficulty and gave her the strength to pursue her vocation.
St Beatrice de Silva is a shining reminder of the transformative power of mercy. Her life shows us that when we open ourselves to God’s love and compassion, we can become instruments of His mercy, bringing comfort, hope and grace to those around us.
Order of the Conceptionists
The Order of the Conceptionists, founded by St Beatrice de Silva in the 15th century, is a shining testimony of deep Marian devotion in the Catholic tradition. Characterised by a commitment to the contemplative life and inspired by the vision of the Virgin Mary that St Beatrice herself had, the order is particularly dedicated to the adoration and celebration of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God.
The Conceptionist nuns embody a life of prayer, penance and meditation, placing the purity and innocence of Mary at the centre of their spirituality. This choice of life highlights their aspiration to live in intimacy with God, following the Virgin’s example.
Throughout the centuries, the Order of the Conceptionists has contributed significantly to the spiritual life of the Church, offering constant intercession for the world and reminding all the faithful of the importance of holiness and imitation of Mary’s life. In an ever-changing world, the presence and work of the Conceptionists remains a beacon of faith, hope and love, guided by divine mercy and a deep veneration for the Immaculata.
Beatrice de Silva Meneses, was a Portuguese saint, born in Cauta (North Africa) in 1424 into a noble family. Sister of the blessed Amadeus de Silva, Beatrice was related to the Portuguese royal family.
Her beauty and virtue soon attracted the Castilian nobles; this aroused the jealousy of Queen Isabella who locked her in a chest for three days, putting her life at risk. Freed, she took a vow of chastity and …