Blessed Julia is a model of gospel living by a lay person and of mutual
collaboration between religious and laity.
Julia della Rena was born at Certaldo, Italy, near Florence, about the
year 1319. Orphaned at an early age, she was employed as a domestic in the
service of the Tinolfi family in Florence where, in 1337 at the Augustinian
church of the Holy Spirit, she became an Augustinian Secular. After returning
to Certaldo, she retired to a life of solitude near the church of Saints
Michael and James. For thirty years she led a life of penance and prayer.
Upon her death in 1370 she was immediately venerated as a saintly woman
by the faithful who had sustained her with their alms and revered her for
her life of prayer and penance.
Julia’s mortal remains are venerated at Certaldo in the church
of Saints Michael and James, which at one time was under the care of the
Augustinians. In a number of instances the people of Certaldo attributed
their deliverance from the plague to Blessed Julia.
Her feast is celebrated by the Augustinian Family on 15 February.