One of Antonello da Messina's most beautiful works is the Virgin Annunciate, housed in Palermo's Palazzo Abatellis. It is said that the model was a beautiful nun from Messina called Sister Eustochia. But who was this woman? In 1434, to a wealthy family from Messina, a beautiful child was born called Esmeralda Calafato. While still very young, unbeknownst to her, she found herself engaged to a 35-year-old widower, but the "fiancé" died suddenly and at the age of 14 the girl decided to take her vows. From then on, she was called Eustochia. Later she asked a rich uncle for money to found a monastery. After much insistence she received the money and opened the monastery of Montevergine where she is still buried.