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St. Maria Bertilla Boscardin October 20, 2004

Wednesday, October 20, 2004
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Saint Maria Bertilla pray for us and lead us to Christ!!
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St. Maria Bertilla Boscardin
(1888-1922)

If anyone knew rejection, ridicule and disappointment, it was today’s saint. But such trials only brought Maria Bertilla Boscardin closer to God and more determined to serve him.

Born in Italy in 1888, the young girl lived in fear of her father, a violent man prone to jealousy and drunkenness. Her schooling was limited so that she could spend more time helping at home and working in the fields. She showed few talents and was often the butt of jokes.

In 1904 she joined the Sisters of St. Dorothy and was assigned to work in the kitchen, bakery and laundry. After some time Maria received nurses’ training and began working in a hospital with children suffering from diphtheria. There the young nun seemed to find her true vocation: nursing very ill and disturbed children. Later, when the hospital was taken over by the military in World War I, Sister Maria Bertilla fearlessly cared for patients amidst the threat of constant air raids and bombings.

She died in 1922 after suffering for many years from a painful tumor. Some of the patients she had nursed many years before were present at her canonization in 1961.

“Oh my dear Madonna, I do not ask for visions, or revelations, or pleasures, or kindness, not even spiritual ones. In this world I do not wish for anything more than that which you wished for when you were here on earth; to believe with all my heart and soul, without seeing, or pleasure, to suffer with joy, without consolation. To work hard for you, until I die”.

“God and I alone, internal external recollection, continuous prayer, this is the air I breath; never-ending work, diligent, but with calmness and order. I am God’s creature, God created me and he protects me, reason wanted that I am entirely His. I seek happiness, but true happiness I find only in God. I must do God’s will without asking for anything in return, with no other desires, with cheerfulness and laughter. I implore God that he may help me to win my ego, to understand what is right and what is wrong, that He may help me to do at all costs His holy will, without asking for anything more…..”.

When she was beatified in 1952, Pope Pious X11 said: “She is not a dismaying model …In her humility she defined her path as ‘the way of the carts’, the most common, that of the Catechism”.
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