Though never formally beatified, Pica Bernardone is blessed in the popular mind as the mother of St. Francis of Assisi.
Pica was a noble French lady who married the wealthy Italian cloth merchant, Pietro Bernardone. The story is told that when she was in difficult labor with her first child, a stranger in pilgrim's attire appeared who told her and her husband that the child would not be born until she had been transported to a stable. A little chapel is now built on the spot of that stable where Francis Bernardone, now known as Francis of Assisi, was born.
It was Pica who taught Francis his faith by both her word and example. It was she who gave him his love of poverty. And it was she who set him free after his father had locked him up for selling his horse and his father's cloth to rebuild a small church.
After the death of her husband, Pica went to Francis for spiritual guidance, wore the penitential garb of the Third Order of St. Francis and devoted her life to works of charity and piety.