Wilhelmina a fanatical woman of Milan, who died in 1281, pretended to be the daughter of Constantia, queen of Primislaus, king of Bohemia. She spent the last twenty or thirty years of her life in Milan in pious labors, especially in works of active charity. She had organized a band of followers (afterwards known as Wilhelminians), who reverenced her as a saint, and began in her lifetime to make her the object of extravagant and fanatical veneration. This increased after her death to an undue extreme. She had claimed that her birth was announced to her mother by the angel Raphael, just as the birth of Christ was announced to Mary by the angel Gabriel, and that the Holy Spirit became incarnate in her for the purpose of working out the salvation of Jews, Saracens, and false Christians, as that of true Christians had been wrought by Christ. She deluded her followers into the expectation, first, of her repeating in her own person the sufferings of Christ, and, secondly, of her resurrection and return to them after her death. But, with no indications of any fulfilment of such promises, a number of her followers, headed by Andrew Saramita, disinterred the recently buried body, arrayed it in costly robes, erected a magnificent monument over the grave, and proclaimed the worship of the Holy Ghost incarnate in Wilhelmina, as of equal importance with the worship of the incarnate Son of God. She had appointed a nun named Mayfreda, of Tirovano, as her vicegerent under the new dispensation of the Holy Ghost — a female pontiff to represent her as the Roman pontiffs represent St. Peter. The sect was entirely rooted out about the year 1300, the remnant of her followers having perished at the stake, and her tomb and dead body having been destroyed. See Muratori, Antiq. Ital. Medii AEvi, 5:95 sq.; Palacky, Literary Tour to Italy (Prague, 1838), page 72 sq.; Mosheim, Hist. of the. Church, book 3, cent. 13, part 2, chapter 5.

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