Saintly Women

Aegidius Albertinus (1560–1620).
Himlisch Frawenzimmer.
Munich: Anna Bergin for Raphael Sadeler, 1611. (BRB1386)

This collection of fifty-two biographies of female saints was compiled by Aegidius Albertinus, the Bavarian court librarian and royal secretary in Munich. Dedicated to Sister Maria Magdalena Haidenbucher (1576–1650), Abbess of the Benedictine nuns of Chiemsee, the work was intended for the moral and spiritual instruction of nuns. The biographies are illustrated with portraits by Raphael Sadeler II (1560–1632), the court engraver in Munich. The final biography is that of St. Teresa of Àvila (1515–1582), who was not canonized as a saint until eleven years after the publication of this book. Sadeler based her portrait on a well-known oil painting that was made from life in Spain during the 1570s. An early German owner of this book, who inscribed many of the saints’ feast days below their portraits, wrote “Herbstmonat 23” (September 23) below the image of St. Teresa, whose feast on October 15 was not established until 1622. The erroneous September 23 dating probably reflects confusion with the well-known feast of St. Thecla.

The Lives of Saints
Saintly Women