St. Maria Bertilla Boscardin
Peasant girl became brave and beloved nurse
Feast: October 20
Anna Francesca Boscardin was born in Brendola, Italy, to a poor peasant family with a violently abusive alcoholic father. She had little education and worked as a servant. Her family nicknamed her “the goose” due to her apparent lack of intelligence. She entered the Sisters of St. Dorothy, Daughters of the Sacred Heart, in 1904, taking the name Bertilla. After working in the convent’s kitchen and laundry for three years, she trained as a nurse. She quickly became a favorite in the children’s ward due to her simple and gentle way. She cared for wounded Italian soldiers during World War I, staying with patients while the area was bombed. She was canonized in 1961 by Pope John XXIII before a crowd that included many of her former patients, and many miracles have been reported at her tomb.
-Catholic News Agency
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Northwest Catholic - October 2017