St. Franca Visalta
Placed in the Benedictine convent of Saint Syrus at Piacenza, Italy in 1177 at age seven, she joined the Order at age 14. Abbess while still young, but removed from the office due to the severe austerities she imposed, and she became isolated from most of her sisters.
However, one of the sisters, Carentia, agreed with her discipline. When Carentia entered the Cistercian noviate at Rapallo, Italy, Franca persuaded her parents to build a Cistercian house at Montelana, Italy which they both then entered. Franca became abbess of the community, which later moved to Pittoli, Italy. Franca always maintained the strict austerities she imposed on herself, even in the face of failing health, and spent most nights in chapel, praying for hours.