Having bedecked herself in an extravagant gown and glittering jewels, Vilana di Piero, a worldly young wife in Florence, Italy, went to admire herself in a mirror. To her horror, she saw in the glass a demon. Looking again and again only to find the same specter, she burst into tears, and hastily exchanged her rich garments for a simple dress. She then hurried to a Dominican priest
to confess her sins. Hereafter Vilana devoted herself to prayer
and charity, drawing inspiration
from reading the lives of the saints, the writings of the Church Fathers, and especially the Epistles of Saint Paul. The Passion of Christ
was a favorite subject of her meditations. She also experienced many visions. Once, when a little boy came to her room to deliver flowers with which she customarily adorned images of the saints, he was stunned to see with his own eyes Christ, the Blessed Mother, and Saint Dominic moving about the room with Vilana. Vilana strictly enjoined the boy not to reveal what he had witnessed while she was yet alive. Following Vilana's death, her grieving husband, when depressed, would find solace by visiting the room where she had died.