Religious Sister (1888-1922)
+ Anna Francesca Boscardin was born into a peasant family in Brendola, Italy. She was an innocent child who received little formal education and who suffered greatly because of the abuse inflicted by her alcoholic father.
+ After spending some years working as a servant, she became a member of the Sisters of St. Dorothy, Daughters of the Sacred Heart. She received the religious name “Maria Bertilla.”
+ Sister Bertilla was assigned to serve in a hospital her community staffed in Treviso. Known for her gentleness, she became a beloved presence in the children’s ward.
+ During the First World War, she cared for wounded Italian soldiers and won the respect of the civil authorities for staying with the patients when the area around the hospital was being bombed.
+ In 1919 her service was recognized by her community when she was named supervisor of the children’s ward.
+ Saint Maria Bertilla died of cancer on October 20, 1922, and was canonized in 1962.
For prayer and reflection
“Here I am, Lord, to do your will, whatever comes.”—Saint Maria Bertilla Boscardin
O God, who called blessed Maria Bertilla to seek your Kingdom in this world through the pursuit of perfect charity, grant, we pray, through her intercession that we may advance with joyful spirit along the way of love. 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 a Religious)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.