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Thursday 29 July |
Saint of the Day: Sts Martha, Mary and Lazarus of Bethany
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St Rose Venerini

A champion of women’s education

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Foundress of the Religious Teachers Venerini: 1656-1728

Her life

+ Rose was born in Viterbo, Italy (then part of the Papal States) and was the daughter of an important physician. At the age of 12 she became engaged to be married, but her fiancé died before the wedding.

+ Rose was a Dominican nun for a short time but was forced to leave the monastery because she had to care for her mother after her father’s sudden death. Following her mother’s death, Rose began to invite local women and girls into her home for prayer.

+ Inspired by the spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola, she began to believe that God was calling her to a special mission to educate and form poor young women. She opened her first school in 1685.

+ Rose’s ministry received little support, particularly because the education of women was considered unimportant. Some of the local priests also opposed Rose’s desire to teach catechism, which they believed was their exclusive responsibility.

+ Over the next several years, Rose opened more than 40 schools and her teachers eventually formed a new religious community—now known as the Religious Teachers Venerini—to continue her mission of education. Her commitment to the care of young women and the quality of education she provided brought an end to the complaints against her.

+ Saint Rose Venerini died on May 7, 1728, and was canonized in 2006.

Spiritual bonus

Rose Venerini entrusted a school she founded to a young, capable woman named Lucy Filippini. In 1707, Lucy herself founded a new community of teaching sisters: the Religious Teachers Filippini. Honored as a saint, Lucy Filippini was canonized in 1930.


“Let the little children to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belong to such as these.”—Mark 10:14

To learn more about the Venerini Sisters, visit:


O God, who raised up blessed Rose in your Church to show others the way of salvation, grant us, by her example, so to follow Christ the master, that we may come with our neighbor into your presence. 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 Educators)


Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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