Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 20 April |
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Virtually visit the Basilica of Santa Croce, and the girl who saw Jesus crucified

Associazione Nennolina Antonietta Meo - Parrocchia Santa Croce in Gerusalemme; 12 - 00185 Roma.

Marinella Bandini - published on 04/02/21

Station Church Day 44: Venerable Nennolina died when she was only 6.

Aleteia invites you to a virtual Lenten pilgrimage through Rome’s 42 station churches: one church per day, from February 17 to April 11.

Day 44

At the Basilica of Santa Croce, which houses the relics of the Passion, we meet Antonietta Meo, a little girl who lived her own personal Passion in the footsteps of Jesus, offering her own suffering for the salvation of the world.

“Nennolina”—as she is known to everyone—was born in 1930. She was lively and joyful, and above all full of faith, something she learned at home and in Catholic Action. When she was 5 years old, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a malignant bone tumor. Thus began her “Via Crucis”: from the amputation of her leg to her death at the age of six and a half.

The disease was aggressive and very painful, but she offered everything for the salvation of sinners, without a complaint. Even on the anniversary of the amputation of her leg, she wanted to celebrate because “I didn’t lose my leg, I gave it to Jesus.” On Christmas night 1936 she received her First Communion.

Nennolina confided to her mother that she saw Jesus Crucified: “I see Him alive, in the flesh, as I see you! … Sometimes He looks at me, other times He lowers his eyes or closes them.” She died on July 3, 1937, and her body rests in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.

In 2007, Benedict XVI proclaimed Nennolina venerable. A few days later, he spoke in these words to the young people of Catholic Action: “You can consider her as your friend, a model to inspire you. Her existence shows that holiness is for all ages.”

Although he was a Son, he learned obediencethrough what he suffered;and having been made perfect,he became the source of eternal salvationfor all who obey him,Hebrews 5:8-9

Read more:
This Italian Girl May Soon Be Honored as a Child Saint and Mystic

* In collaboration with the Social Communications Office of the Vicariate of Rome

Station Churches
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Top 10
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
Philip Kosloski
5 Fascinating facts about Jesus in the Eucharist
Philip Kosloski
5 Essential things used at Mass and their symbolism
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Cerith Gardiner
7 Joys to be had from a lengthy marriage
Brett Salkeld
How to vaccinate like a Catholic
Cerith Gardiner
The lasting lesson from the late Prince Philip
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.