At age twenty, Julia Gonzaga was one of the most envied women in Italy. A property owner, she entertained artists, poets, and musicians at her castle; and she was the prettiest woman in the country! Yet Julia was confused and anxious about God and her own sin. No matter how hard she tried not to sin, she often put her desires to please other people before obeying God. She finally found peace when she understood the gospel, and then she devoted her life to sharing the good news with others. Her story, set in the 1500s, gives today’s young readers an opportunity to learn about the unique challenges of the Italian Reformation and some of the Italian Christians who risked and even gave their lives for the sake of Christ.
Simonetta Carr was born in Italy and has lived and worked in different cultures. A former elementary school teacher, she home-schooled her eight children for many years. She has written for newspapers and magazines around the world and has translated the works of several Christian authors into Italian. Presently, she lives in San Diego with her husband, Thomas, and family. She is a member and Sunday school teacher at Christ United Reformed Church, Santee, California.
“What a gem! Simonetta Carr has given the world another of her beautiful biographies, this time about a fascinating and courageous woman unfamiliar to many readers. Julia Gonzaga brings to life the woman and the tenuous situation for biblical believers in Italy during the tumultuous 1500s.”
—Glenda Faye Mathes, author of multiple nonfiction and fiction books, including the Matthew in the Middle series for young readers
“Simonetta Carr has again written an excellent book of introduction to a heroic figure of the age of the Reformation. In this book we meet Julia Gonzaga, who embraced the gospel in the most difficult of circumstances and sought to advance the truth in Italy. Her courage, struggles, and commitment continue to inspire us.”
—W. Robert Godfrey, president emeritus and professor emeritus of church history, Westminster Seminary California
“Finally, a captivating biography of Julia Gonzaga, a true champion of the Christian faith. Simonetta Carr has done it! Written for young readers but perfectly suitable for adults, this book opens a window into the little-known world of the Italian Reformation by telling the fascinating
story of its most important woman. It also introduces the audience to forgotten heroes like Juan de Valdés, Pietro Carnesecchi, and Benedetto da Mantova. If you want your faith to be stirred up by a story of courage for the gospel, read this book. It will also show you why we need to pray earnestly for God to bring Reformation again to His church in Italy.”
—Michael G. Brown, pastor of Chiesa Riformata Filadelfia, Milan, Italy