Blessed Villana de'Botti

Daughter of Andrew de’Botti, a merchant. Villana was a pious child, and at age 13 ran away from home to join a convent. She was refused and had to return home. Soon after, her family married her to Rosso di Piero.

    The rejection at the convent and the marriage seemed to change Villana. She suddenly became lazy and worldly, concerned only with pleasure. One day as she was getting dressed for some type of entertainment, her reflection in all her mirrors suddenly changed to a demon. Villana understood this to be a reflection of her sin-laden soul. She tore off her clothes, put on something poor and simple, and ran to the Dominican Fathers of Santa Maria Novella for help.

    She became a Dominican tertiary, concentrated on her vocation of married life, and spent her free time praying and reading Scripture and the lives of the saints. Her desire to atone for her earlier life sometimes overwhelmed her, and her husband and family had to stop her begging door to door and doing other penances. She was given to religious ecstasies at Mass, but became the object of much ridicule and slander. Her health suffered, but she received visions of Our Lady and the saints, and had the gift of prophecy. Even her fiercest opponents eventually came to see her as a living saint.