Saint of the day
Blessed Anna Rosa Gattorno
Anna Rosa was born in Genoa, Italy, on October 14, 1831. Her parents were very devout, and she was baptized the day she was born. Since her family was wealthy, she was educated at home, according to the custom of the time. Anna Rosa was a good student. She also gave great importance to studying the Word of God and living her life according to it.
When she was twenty-one, Anna Rosa married Gerolamo Custo, and the couple moved to Marseilles. But they had financial difficulties and it was necessary to return to Genoa. There were other hardships in store for Anna Rosa. Her daughter Carlotta became seriously ill and was left deaf and mute for the remainder of her life. After only six years of marriage, and after unsuccessfully trying to improve their financial stability, Gerolamo died. Not long after, Anna Rosa’s youngest son also died.
In spite of all this suffering, Anna Rosa did not lose her confidence in God. She entrusted herself and her family, in life and in death, to his loving protection. She later looked back at this time in her life as a period of personal conversion. She felt God bringing her closer and closer to himself, even as she lost those most dear to her.
Anna Rosa dedicated her life to God. She became a Franciscan tertiary and lived a life of prayer and good works. She started a community of sisters called the Daughters of St. Anne. She opened nursing schools and schools for the poor. She established daycare centers for the children of field laborers, and shelters for women who were trying to get their lives back on track. As a personal sign that the Lord was blessing her and her work, she received the grace of the marks of Christ’s wounds in her body, which she could feel, but which were invisible. Anna Rosa died on May 6, 1900 in Rome. Pope John Paul II beatified her on April 9, 2000.
Blessed Anna Rosa teaches us by her life that things don’t have to be going our way for us to believe that God is with us. Let’s ask for an increase of trust, so that we’ll feel God close to us even when we suffer disappointments and sorrow.