Wednesday’s Woman: Blessed Irene Stefani

by Melanie on November 29, 2017

in Catholicism, Missionaries, Nonfiction, Prayer, Saints, Spirituality, Wednesday's Woman

The Basics: Born August 22, 1891, in Italy; died October 31, 1930, in Kenya; beatified May 23, 2015; feast day, October 31. Woman religious and missionary.

The Story: Talk about an adventure! Irene burned to become a missionary, but at times, it must have seemed an impossible dream. One of twelve children, she was not quite eight when her mother died. But she continued to think of that “yes” to God. Shortly before her twentieth birthday, Irene joined the Consolata Missionary Sisters, making her final vowas a couple years later. Her dream was realized in January 1915 when she arrived in Kenya.

Irene touched many lives in her nearly sixteen years as a missionary. She worked as a nurse during World War I, and after the war, she continued to nurse and to work with children in the local area. “Local” was somewhat relative; the woman who was called Nyaatha (mother of mercy) walked great distances, and was known from measuring the length between locations by the number of rosaries she could say during her journey.

Irene fell ill while treating patients during a plague. In 2015, she became the first Kenyan to be beatified.

What We Can Learn from Irene: What a great way to focus a walk or exercise on God, by counting the number of prayers one can say. Try the rosary, the Jesus prayer, the Our Father, or other prayer as you move rather than mulling over problems.

Irene’s Wisdom: “Do not cry–I am going to heaven!” (Words to those who came to visit shortly before her death.)

To Learn More About Irene: Read her biography at the Consolata Sisters’ site, or check out a news story about the completion of a shrine in her memory.

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.

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