Benedictine nun (1827-1922)
+ Anna Felice Viti was born near Rome, Italy. After her mother’s death, Anna helped care for her brothers and sisters, a task that was infinitely more difficult because of her father’s alcoholism and gambling addiction.
+ On March 21, 1851, she entered a Benedictine monastery near Veroli, Italy. She was known in religious life as “Sister Maria Fortunata.”
+ For seventy years she did no more than live out the Benedictine ideals of prayer and work, wit a marked sense of charity, serving in the infirmary and in acts of service to the members of her community.
+ Although she was illiterate, she piety was strongly Christocentric and she had a great love for the Eucharist.
+ Blessed Maria Fortunata died on November 20, 1922, and was beatified in 1967.
For prayer and reflection
“Humility: this is the virtue that Maria Fortunata personifies. This insignificance is her greatness. We are reminded of the Magnificat, and this alone speaks to Maria Fortunata’s degree of Christian authenticity and the depth of her spiritual perfection. Humility is her message.”—Pope Saint Paul VI at the beatification of Blessed Maria Fortunata
O God, who called your handmaid blessed Maria Fortunata to seek you before all else, grant that, serving you, through her example and intercession, with a pure and humble heart, we may come at last to your eternal glory. 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 Nun)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.Access our archives of daily saint biographies here