Founder of the Daughters of St. Anne: 1831-1900
+Rosa Maria Benedetta Gattorno was born in Genoa, Italy. In 1852, she married Gerolamo Custo and became the mother of three children.
+ A series of tragedies struck the young family. In a short span of time, Rosa’s eldest daughter became deaf after a serious illness and, in 1858, Rosa’s husband and youngest child died. Rather than turn to anger or despair in her grief, she allowed her suffering to help her reach out to others in compassion and mercy.
+ In 1858, under the guidance of her spiritual director, Rosa became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis and began a ministry of care, focused especially on poor children.
+ A woman of prayer, she was blessed with mystical experiences, including sharing in the sufferings of Christ each Friday as she reflected on his Passion and Death.
+ With the blessing of Blessed Pope Pius IX, Anna established a new congregation, the Daughters of St. Anne, Mother of the Immaculate, to serve the poor and the sick. When she made religious vows in 1870, she received the name “Anna Rosa.” The sisters’ work included a special ministry to the deaf and mute.
+ Anna Rosa died on May 6, 1900, and was beatified in 2000.
In 2000, Cardinal James Hickey invited the Daughters of St. Anne to establish their first house in the United States, asking them to serve the needs of the Ethiopian and Eritrean communities in Washington, D.C..
“To live for God, to die for him and to spend life for love.”—Blessed Anna Rosa Gatorno
To learn more about the Daughters of St. Anne, visit: http://www.daughtersofsaintanne.org/aboutus.htm
O God, who have taught your Church to keep all the heavenly commandments by love of you as God and love of neighbor; grant that, practicing the works of charity after the example of blessed Anna Rosa, we may be worthy to be numbered among the blessed in your Kingdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For Those Who Practiced Works of Mercy)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.