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Feast of St. Maria Josepha Rossello (December 7)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Unification of Italy

SAINT MARIA JOSEPHA ROSSELLO (MAY 27, 1811-DECEMBER 7, 1880)

Cofounder of the Daughters of Our Lady of Pity

Benedetta Rossello was born at Abisola Marina, Liguria, Sardinia, on May 27, 1811.  She became a Franciscan tertiary at age sixteen and meant to become a hermitess, but her spiritual director talked her out of that path.  No, the saint’s vocation took in a different direction.  The saint, instead of becoming a hermitess, became a caregiver to an invalid man at Savona, Sardinia, for the last nine years of his life.  Then  the saint and two cousins, Angela and Domenica Pescio, founded a new religious order devoted to founding and operating hospitals, and educating poor girls.  Angela served as the first superior and St. Benedetta/Maria Josepha as the first mistress of novices.  The saint served as superior from 1840 to her death, when the order operated 86 foundations–schools, hospitals, children’s homes, and a house to encourage priestly vocations.  Unfortunately, physical illness and what John J. Delaney, in his Dictionary of Saints, described as “spiritual aridity,” marked the saint’s last few years.

“Spiritual aridity” is a common condition among both the canonized and uncanonized faithful of the Christian flock.   I am certainly familiar with it, and I have felt close to God for most of my life, since childhood.  The proper response to “spiritual aridity” is to keep walking through the proverbial desert, to continue on one’s spiritual pilgrimage.  That is what St. Maria Josepha Rossello did, and she emerged from the desert at the end.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 16, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARGARET OF SCOTLAND, QUEEN

THE FEAST OF SAINT GIUSEPPE MOSCATI, PHYSICIAN

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Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses:

Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servant Saint Maria Josepha Rossello,

may persevere in running the race that is set before us,

until at last we may with him attain to eternal joy;

through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 15

Hebrews 12:1-2

Matthew 25:31-40

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 724