Colette de CORBIE or BOYLET (1381-1447)

Saint Colette (detail of Saint Clare and Saint Colette, c. 1520, by the Master of Lourinhã; National Museum of Ancient Art, Portugal

Nicolette Boylet was born to elderly parents in Corbie (near Amiens). Her birth presents many features similar to Saint Rita of Cascia: her birth is miraculous, like that of Rita (late birth, announced in a dream). Her parents died when she was an adolescent. She joined the beguines of her hometown but eventually yearned for a stricter observance of ascetic practices. By 1406, she choose the Poor Clare Order and become a recluse. Visions, however, kept pressing her to take on the reform of the Franciscans. And she did it by the commission of the pope Benedict 13th: she reformed seven communities of Franciscan men and established (or reformed) seventeen women’s communities.
During her life she meets all the saints who are her contemporaries and after her death she works miracles, above all she helps women on labour through the miraculous “grains” or her mantle (Scaraffia, p. 93)
Colette lived a quietly austere life even in the midst of her extensive reform work and allegedly continued to have visions, experienced levitation in prayer, prophesied, and had the ability to read others’ conscience. (Swam, p.33)
She died in 1447 in the monastery of Ghent,  one of the seventeen she established (or reformed),

Matteo Liut, du 6 mars 2019
Lucetta Scaraffia, La santa degli impossibili. Rita da Cascia tra devozione e arte contemporanea”, Vita e pensiero, 2014, Milano
Laura Swam, The winsdom of the Beguines, Bluebridge Press, 2015