Friday, May 7, 2010

St. Rose Venerini (1656 - 1728)

She was one of four children born to Goffredo, a medical doctor and Marzia, whose
family was from Viterbo, an ancient city in central Italy. As a child, she was
interested in dedicating her life to God. She entered the Dominican Monastery at
the age of 20, but was forced to leave upon the unexpected death of her father.
Soon after, her brother and then her mother died. She began a women's group in
her neighborhood to recite the rosary. Through this effort, she realized that
women needed a better Christian education. The Bishop of Viterbo agreed and with
the help of some friends, she opened the first school for girls in Italy.

Her vision was not without conflict. It came not only from the culture but also from some of the clergy. However, the idea of teaching young girls would catch on as improvement in their lives and morality became evident. This would help her movement grow and she opened a school in the center of Rome. Pope Clement XI and a number of Cardinals visited the school and gave their approval. This led to a growing demand which would see more than 40 schools opened by the time of her death. A number of miracles were attributed to her and her educational communities have opened in countries around the world.

Pope Benedict XVI canonized her on 15 October 2006.
This week pray a Rosary in her honor, her feast day is May 7th.

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