Archive for the ‘Blessed Anna Rosa Gattorno’ Tag

Feast of Blessed Anna Rosa Gattorno (May 6)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Anna Rosa Gattorno

Image Source = CatholicSaints.Info

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BLESSED ANNA ROSA GATTORNO CUSTO (OCTOBER 14, 1831-MAY 6, 1900)

Cofounder of the Institute of the Daughters of Saint Anne, Mother of Mary Immaculate

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My love, what can I do to make the whole world love you?  Make use once again of this wretched instrument to renew the faith and conversion of sinners.

–Blessed Anna Rosa Gattorno

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Blessed Anna Rosa Gattorno, not a stranger to suffering, identified with the suffering of others as she sought to help them.  Our saint, born in Genoa on October 14, 1831, was originally Rose Maria Benedetta Gattorno.  She grew up in a devout and financially comfortable family.  On November 5, 1852, Rose Maria married a cousin, Gerolamo Custo.  The couple, which eventually had three children, settled in Marseilles.  They did not remain there long, for dire financial straits forced their return to Genoa.  All of her husband’s attempts to improve their cash flow problems failed.  Furthermore, their first child, Carlotta, became a deaf-mute after an illness.  Then, in 1858, both Gerolamo and the youngest child died, in that order.

On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), 1858, our saint, a widow for one day short of nine months, made her vows of chastity and obedience, thereby beginning the next phase of her life.  In 1861 she made her vow of poverty as a Franciscan tertiary.  The following year Gattorno received the stigmata, which she felt most intensely every Friday.  Her spiritual renewal had actually predated 1858, for she had begun to receive the Holy Eucharist daily.  That was rare in those times.  Our saint had devoted her life fully to God while not neglecting her duties to her children.

Gattorno sought to devote her life to pious works, such as visiting the sick and the poor.  In 1864 she became the president of the Pious Union of the New Ursulines, Daughters of Mary Immaculate, as part of that purpose.  Yet our saint was reluctant to do more; she also had maternal responsibilities.  Pope Pius IX convinced our saint to trust God and to found the Institute of the Daughters of Saint Anne, Mother of Mary Immaculate, in 1866.  The members of the order could help with the children, the Pope said.  So, at Picenza, in 1866, Gattorno founded the new order.  She and 12 sisters made their religious professions in 1870.  They went on to operate schools for boys, schools for girls, nursery schools, and homes for former prostitutes, and to send sisters into homes as visiting nurses, among other ministries.

Gattorno, aged 68 years, died at Rome on May 6, 1900.  By that time the order had spread out across the world and come to encompass 368 houses and 3,500 sisters.

Pope John Paul II declared Gattorno a Venerable in 1988 then a Blessed in 2000.

Pope Piux IX gave sage advice to our saint in 1866.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 24, 2017 COMMON ERA

PROPER 20:  THE SIXTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

THE FEAST OF ANNA E. B. ALEXANDER, EPISCOPAL DEACONESS IN GEORGIA

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O God, by whose grace your servant Blessed Anna Rosa Gattorno,

kindled with the flame of your love, became a burning and a shining light in your Church:

Grant that we may also be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline,

and walk before you as children of light;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Acts 2:42-47a

Psalm 133 or 34:1-8 or 119:161-168

2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Matthew 6:24-33

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 723

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