Baptized as Oringa, the blessed Cristiana was born in Santa Croce sull'Arno between 1237 and 1240 to a humble family. Since childhood, she began to show an interest in religion and prayer, which she did with particular devotion while she was alone tending to sheep. She decided to dedicate her life to the lord and refused to marry, despite pressure from her family. On moving to Lucca, she worked as a maid to pay her way. In 1265, she made a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of San Michele in Gargano and to Rome, having made an offering to visit the bodies of martyrs until the day she died. This was when she was called Cristiana. In Assisi, she had a vision in which she the Lord showed her the foundation of a religious house in her place of birth. On obtaining a building from the council, on 24 December 1279, she retreated with some companions to mark the beginning of the convent of Santa Maria Novella, according to the order of Sant’Augustine and recognised by the Church in 1296. Struck by a serious illness, Cristiana died on 4 January 1310.
Saint's symbol: the palm