The Basics: Born August 15, 1871, in Italy; died July 1, 1948, in Brazil; beatified October 25, 2014; feast day, July 1. Woman religious, missionary.
The Story: Have you ever had a sibling lead you into an adventure–and then leave you there alone? In some ways, that’s what happened to Assunta Marchetti. One of eleven children, Assunta from an early age wanted to live in a cloistered Carmelite community. However, her brother Giuseppe, who was two years older, had a vocation and it was decided the family’s available resources would be used to help him toward the priesthood.
In 1895, Giuseppe invited Assunta, their mother and two of the women’s friends who had professed to a religious community to join him in Brazil. The need was significant; between 1880 and 1900, nearly one million Italians had relocated to that Portuguese-speaking country so far away. The women said yes, and arrived that December. Within a year, Giuseppe (now recognized as a Servant of God) had died; a year later, their mother returned to Italy, and within the next four years, both of the other companions had died. There also were disputes and problems within the community, which ultimately became the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo (Scalabrinians).
Surely, all the loss and tumult must have taken a toll on Assunta. But she soldiered on, confident in the Lord’s call, helping immigrants as a nurse, cook, and teacher. She also served as mother superior of the congregation until 1935, when she stepped down from that post but continued ministering to the sick for most of the time before her death.
Assunta’s Wisdom: “God sees, God provides!”
What We Can Learn from Assunta: Are you feeling alone and adrift after a loss? Pray with Assunta for the faith to do what the Lord desires.
To Learn More About Assunta: Check out the history of the congregation Assunta cofounded with her brother.
To Learn More About Other Women Saints and Blesseds: Come back next week, or consider buying my book, Sisterhood of Saints: Daily Guidance and Inspiration.