- Eustochia Calafato de Messina
- Eustochia Montevergine
- Eustochia of Messina
- Eustochium Calafato
- Smerelda Colonna
Daughter of Count Bernardo and Countess Macaldo Romano Colonna, Sicilian nobles and wealthy merchants. Legend says she was born in a stable because her mother had received a vision directing her there. Raised and educated by her pious mother, the girl felt drawn to the religious life from an early age.
Eustochia received a her own vision, the image of Christ Crucified. The experience led her to join the Poor Clare Convent of Santa Maria di Basico against the wishes of the rest of her family. Her brothers threatened to burn down the convent, and Smerelda returned home. However, seeing the girl‘s true devotion and desire they relented, and she returned to the convent, taking her vows and the name Eustochia.
Noted for her self-imposed penances and austerities. Believing her convent locked sufficient discipline, she joined the reform-minded Poor Clare community at Santa Maria Acommodata in 1457, a community whose discipline was so severe that local Franciscan priests refused to say Mass there, fearing they were encouraging impious excesses. She was soon joined there by a blood sister and a niece. In 1463 the group relocated to Monte delle Vergini (Maiden’s Hill).
Elected abbess in 1464. Noted for her devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to the poor of the area. The local lay people considered her their patron and protector, the cloister a place of refuge, especially during the earthquakes that rocked the area.
- 20 January 1491 at Messina, Sicily, Italy
- entombed in the apse of the Sanctuary of Montevergine, Messina, Sicily, Italy
- body incorrupt
Learning assiduously in the school of Christ Crucified, she grew in knowledge of him and, meditating on the splendid mysteries of grace, she conceived a faithful love for him. For our saint, the cloistered life was not a mere flight from the world in order to take refuge in God. Through the severe criticism which she imposed upon herself, she certainly wanted to be united to Christ, gradually eliminating whatever in her, as in every human person, was fallen; at the same time, she felt united to all. From her cell in the monastery of Montevergine she extended her prayer and the value of her penances to the whole world. In such a way she wanted to be near to each brother and sister, alleviate every suffering, ask pardon for the sins of all. – Pope John Paul II in his homily at the canonization of Saint Eustochia
- “Saint Eustochia Calafato“. CatholicSaints.Info. 18 April 2015. Web. 25 May 2015. <>