Lisa di Golio Colombini

Catherine supported by female companions, possibly Lisa. Il Sodoma [Public domain]

Lisa married Catherine’s brother, Bartolomeo di Benincasa, and after his death during a plague outbreak in 1374, joined Catherine’s companion group. In the surviving letters, none are addressed to Lisa specifically, leading scholars to believe she was a constant companion to Catherine due to her appearance in numerous letters Catherine wrote to others. Lisa joined the Mantellate women but is unclear when, Suzanne Noffke makes no clear claims about her status but Thomas Luongo writes, “Lapa and Lisa joined the mantellate, apparently at the same time since they are listed together in the membership list.” but then continues in his footnote that the list started in 1352 and had no extension dates built in.1 She was a disciple of Catherine and followed her teachings. Lisa appears numerous times in letters and hagiographical stories about Catherine. Raymond of Capua often listed Lisa as one of the trustworthy first hand account sources on Catherine’s life, “I was told, then, by her mother Lapa, her sister-in-law Lisa, her first confessor Fra Tommaso, and many others who frequented the house at the time..”.2