Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Fabiola

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Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography

Fabiola
Flourished 4th century A.D., Rome; d. 399/400, Rome

Like her contemporary Eustochium, the Roman noblewoman Fabiola turned to a life of asceticism under the guidance of Jerome, a Christian leader and translator of the Greek and Hebrew Bible into Latin. She had earlier scandalized the aristocracy by divorcing an abusive husband. After her conversion to Christianity, she built a hospital in Rome—considered the first in the Western world—and dedicated her life to caring for the sick, eventually traveling to Bethlehem, where she lived in one of the convents directed by Eustochium and her mother. When she returned to Rome, Fabiola constructed a hospice for religious pilgrims and continued ministering to the poor until her death on December 27 in either 399 or 400.

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