Spiritual Dialogues was published by Fioravante Prati in Venice in 1602, late in Matraini’s life, though it was probably written earlier. It contains a picture of a considerably aged Matraini. It can be found in Venice at the Biblioteca Nazionale di San Marco and at the Widener Library at Harvard University, in microfilm.
Spiritual Dialogues relates four imaginary conversations between “Theophila,” who was Matraini herself, and “Philocalio,” who was the son of “Cangenua,” probably Cangenna Lipomeni, her lifelong friend. The dialogues proclaim Matraini’s everlasting adherence to the search for salvation. This journey was not easy: the way was rough and not clear, always ready to be forgotten for the pleasures of this world. But the struggle for illumination represented for Matraini, speaking as Theophila, the highest Good, and was divine.
The volume also contains three sermons and eight poems of Matraini’s; the last of them is her sonnet to Santa Chiara (Saint Clare), which concludes the book and was her last published poem.
Out of the shadow of the dark, horrid death,1
my Cynthia appeared to her beautiful Sun,
more than ever she was Clear and bright, thus
she follows him wherever his light leads.
She fears not to wander on the path; as escorts
she has her honored virtue and decency,
nor does she ever repent or regret loving him:
1. Chiara Matraini, Dialoghi Spirituali (Venice: Fioravante Prati, 1602), 7.