BLESILLA 2nd half 4th c.. Saint, feast 22 January. Daughter of the Roman noblewoman Paula and sister of Eustochium. Widowed young, at age 20 after a grave illness, she embraced the ascetic life at the encouragement of Jerome; she followed her mother to Bethlehem, where she died four months later 383. Disturbances broke out at her funeral, as the people attributed her death to the excessive austerity of monastic practices. Jerome wrote a letter to Paula comforting her over the loss of her daughter, whose intellectual and spiritual virtues he attested Ep. 39. BHL 1367; AASS. Ian. II, Venice 1734, 416-417; PCBE 2, Blesilla, 310-311; Ch. Krumeich, Hieronymus und die Christlichen feminae clarissimae, Bonn 1993; G. Jenal, Italia ascetica atque monastica, Das Asketen-und Mnchtum in Italien von den Anf¤ngen bis zur Zeit der Longobarden ca. 150250-604, in Monographien zur Geschichte des Mittelalters 39, 1-2, Stuttgart 1995.