Keratsa Petritsa (Bulgarian: Кераца Петрица) was a Bulgarian noblewoman (bolyarka), sister of tsar Michael Shishman of Bulgaria. Her eldest son Ivan Alexander rose to the Bulgarian throne after vicissitudes of politics.
Keratsa was the daughter of the despotēs Shishman of Vidin by an unnamed daughter of the sebastokrator Peter and Anna (Theodora), herself daughter of Ivan Asen II and Irene Komnene of Epirus. She was also a distant cousin of tsar Theodore Svetoslav and tsar George II Terter.
Since the middle of the 13th century, the area of Vidin had been effectively autonomous under ineffective Bulgarian overlordship, and was ruled successively by Yakov Svetoslav (died 1276), Shishman (died between 1308 and 1313), and then the future Michael Asen III. Shishman and his son received the high courtly title of despotēs from their cousin Theodore Svetoslav and, on the childless death of young George Terter II in 1323, the brother of Keratsa Petritsa was elected emperor of Bulgaria by the nobility.
Keratsa Petritsa was a Catholic (in his letters to Keratsa pope Benedict XII, with whom she maintained a correspondence, calles her "the duchess of Karnona"), but at some point of her life she converted to Orthodoxy and retired to a convent under the monastic name Theophana (Bulgarian: Теофана). Her memory is honored in the Synodic of Bulgarian Church:
|“||For Keratsa, the pious despoina, mother of the great tsar Ivan Alexander, adopted then an angelic image and called Theophana, may her memory live forever.||”|
- Ivan Alexander, despotes of Lovech, who ascended on the throne as emperor of Bulgaria after a coup d'état in 1331.
- Helena, who married king Stefan Dushan of Serbia on 19 April 1332.
- John Komnenos Asen, who was made despotes of Valona by his brother-in-law Stefan Dushan of Serbia.
- Michael, despotes of Vidin
- Павлов, Пламен. Търновските царици. В.Т.: ДАР-РХ, 2006.
- cited in Павлов, Пламен. Търновските царици. В.Т.: ДАР-РХ, 2006.