Blessed Helen of Udine
Helen Valentini (1396-1458), an Augustinian Tertiary, was known for her spirit of penance, obedience, humility, devotion to the Passion of Christ and to the Eucharist, and for her love of neighbor.
While still a young girl, she married Antonio Cavalcanti, an official of the city of Udine. The couple raised six children before Antonio died in 1441.
Some time after the death of her husband, Helen became an Augustinian Tertiary. She was the first member of the Augustinian Third Order in Udine.
She dedicated herself completely to God. She devoted long hours to prayer and meditation on the Gospels. She provided personal service and material contributions to works of mercy. Helen developed a reputation as a miracle worker.
At times she suffered physical torment and severe depression. Prayer and confidence in the will of God saw her through these difficult times.
Her last three years were marked by a painful illness. She died April 23, 1458. Her remains were first buried at the Augustinian Church of Saint Lucy, but later her body was moved to the Cathedral of Udine. She was beatified by Pope Pius IX in 1848.