Blessed Villana, the daughter of a rich merchant, was born at Florence in 1332. She married the wealthy Pietro Benitendo and together with her husband lived a worldly life which their wealth sustained. Realizing the emptiness of her life, Villana went to the friars of Santa Maria Novella to confess her sins and ask for the habit of the Sisters of Penance of Saint Dominic. She took up the study of scripture and the contemplation of Christ crucified and drew other women to follow her example. She died on January 29, 1361.