Sister of Charity (1847-1916)
+ Giulia was born in Aosta, Italy. After the death of her mother, she was raised by relatives in Italy, but later educated in France in a school run by the Sisters of Charity of St. Joan Antida.
+ Her father re-married and Guilia returned to her family, but the relationship was strained. At the same time, she began to discern the call to religious life and decided to enter the Sisters of Charity in 1866.
+ Known in religious life as Sister Nemesia, she was assigned to her community’s houses in Tortona, Italy. She served in her community’s schools and orphanages , including teaching general studies at the elementary level and French in high school. She also served as novice mistress for her community, helping to guide more than 500 new sisters into religious life.
+ Her motto in life was: “Concentrate on the one goal: God alone!”
+ Sister Nemesia assisted Saint Luigi Orione, founder of the Little Work of Divine Providence and the Sons of Divine Providence) in his pastoral work and, during a cholera epidemic in 1890, she opened her the doors of her convent to allow the ill to enter and receive nursing care.
+ Blessed Giulia Valle died on December 18, 1916, and was beatified in 2004.
For prayer and reflection
O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.
Today is the day on which the Church formerly celebrated a special feast in honor of “the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” Originally an alternate feast of the Annunciation (which typically falls during Lent), this feast came to honor Our Lady’s hope-filled expectation of the birth of Jesus in the days preceding Christmas.
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that we, who are weighed down from of old
by slavery beneath the yoke of sin,
may be set free by the newness
of the long-awaited Nativity
of your Only Begotten 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—Collect for December 18)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.