Born April 9, 1458, the daughter of Duke Julius Caesar Varani of Camerino, Italy. As a teenager, while in contemplation of a certain homily, Camilla had heard one particular Good Friday when she was very young, she vowed to mourn the passion of Christ every Friday for the rest of her life.
Aided by God’s grace and the support of her confessors she persevered and as time passed Camilla grew in fervor and faith until she was able to accept, not without a great struggle with herself first and with her father later the vocation of a special consecration of her life to God.
During the Lent of 1479, Camilla listened to a sermon of Observant Franciscan friar Francesco of Urbino, whom she described as “the trumpet of the Holy Spirit”. This sermon struck her deeply. After another sermon by the same friar (with whom she secretly corresponded) on the feast of the Annunciation, March 24, 1479, she then took a vow of chastity; she was 21 at the time.
When the young Duchess announced her intentions of renouncing her royal heritage to become a Poor Clare nun at age 21 in 1479, her father objected. The Duke kept his daughter in prison in the family home for 2 ½ years. However in 1481 he finally relented and not only gave Camilla permission to enter the poor Clares but he also built a monetary for her.
At age 23 Camilla joined the order of Poor Clares in Urbino, Italy taking the religious of Sr. Battista. During the next two and half years before she entered the monastery, she reported having very deep conversions with Christ, and she received many divine visitations. She claimed that Jesus had given her ‘three fragrant spring lilies’: an intense hatred of the world, a heart-felt humility and a burning desire to endure evil. She composed her first written work in this time, a Lauda (Praises), which was about the joy she felt in knowing that Christ loved her. She claimed that she once saw Christ (in answer to her desire to see Him), but she saw only His back as He was walking away. She also experienced seven months of severe physical illness and depression.
Jesus repaid her generously by favoring her with the mystical experiences of which we find traces in her writings. These writings turned out to be true forms of teaching for all. Besides her physical suffering, she suffered greatly when her father and her brothers were killed. But even more due to a long period of “night of the spirit” Nothing availed. However, to disallude her from her ofjective to identify herself with the sufferings of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
In order to escape persecution, Camilla sought refuge in the convent at Atri but she lived in Fermo and San Severino in order to establish her cloistered lifestyle according to the rule of St. Clare of Assissi. Sr. Camilla Battista lead a very holy life which is noted by her experiencing the pains of the stigmata and having Jesus Christ appear to her.
In 1521 Varano herself traveled to San Severino Marche to train a monastery of nuns who had just adopted the Rule of St. Clare. She wrote a letter to the Vicar General of the Observant Franciscans, Giovanni of Fano, to whom her last written work ‘Trattato della Purita di cuore’ was dedicated in the same year. She died in her monastery in Camerino during a plague on 31 March 1524 at the age of 66. In 1843 Pope Gregory XVI declared her Beatified.