Franciscan tertiary at age 15. She received a vision telling her she would inspire devout women in their vocation.
In Crete, during a pilgrimage to Holy Land, she was struck blind. Her friends wanted to return home, but she insisted on going on, visiting the shrines with as much devotion and enthusiasm as if she had her sight. On the way home, while praying before a crucifix, her sight was restored at the same place where it had been lost.
In 1535 she gathered a group of girl students and began what would become the Institute of Saint Ursula (the Ursuline Sisters), founded to teach children, beginning with religion and later expanding into secular topics; her first schools were in Desenazno and Brescia.