Saint of the day

Posted in saints by Mike on December 2, 2014

Elisa Angela Meneguzzi, who was to become Sister Liduina later in her life, was born on September 12, 1901 in Giarre, near Abano Terme, Padova district. Born into a family of farmers, she developed a life of prayer and study of God. MeneguzziWhen she was 14, she took jobs to serve wealthy families and worked in hotels to support her family.

When she neared her 25th birthday, she entered religious life in the mother house in Pandova of the Sisters of Saint Francis de Sales. She worked as a laundress, a sacristan, a nurse, and a good friend in a boarding school for girls. In 1937 she realized her ambition to serve in the missions when her superiors sent her to Dire-Dawa in Ethiopia as a missionary. Dire Dawa was cosmopolitan, with people of different origins, religions, and customs. Deeply prayerful, she served as a nurse in the Parini Civil Hospital which, after the outbreak of the Second World War, became a military hospital. Liduina served injured soldiers, nursing their physical ailments and training herself to see in each suffering soldier the image of Christ.

beata-web-02-450x450She became well known, and people began to seek out her company and blessing. Local people called her “Sister Gudda” (which means, Great). When the bombings raged on the city and hospital, people commonly implored, “Help, Sister Liduina!” Unconcerned by the risks, she carried the wounded to the shelters and then turned around to run to help others. She bent over the dying to suggest an act of contrition and baptized dying children. She served all, regardless of nationality, race, ethnicity, and religion, living a life of true ecumenism that testified to her belief in the universality of God’s love and embrace.

An incurable disease undermined her health, but she peacefully accepted her illness. She suffered and she lost strength but courageously performed her acts of love among the injured till her last days. At the end she underwent a difficult surgical operation that seemed to go well but resulted in complications that led to death on December 2, 1941. She died at age 40. A doctor who was there said “I’ve never seen someone dying with such joy and bliss.” She was beatified in 2002.


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