St. Maria Bertilla Boscardin
Lived: (1888-1922) | Feast Day: Thursday, October 20, 2016
Born 6 October 1888 at Brendola, Italy as Anna Francesca Boscardin
Died 20 October 1922 of cancer at Treviso, Italy many healing miracles reported at her tomb
Venerated 31 July 1949 by Pope Pius XII (decree of heroic virtues)
Beatified 8 June 1952 by Pope Pius XII
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.