Friday, September 07, 2012

Blessed Eugenia Picco

The saint of the day for September 7 is Blessed Eugenia Picco, a professed religious with the Little Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Born in Milan, Italy on November 8, 1867, Eugenia was the daughter of Giuseppe Picco, an internationally acclaimed musician, a violinist at La Scala, and Adelaide del Corno. Because her parents lived on the road, Eugenia was raised for years by her grandparents; however, at one point Adelaide returned alone (Adelaide had left her husband for another man and Eugenia never saw him again.) Eugenia moved in with her mother, and from that point on, she grew up in a morally corrupt environment. To escape her mother‘s house, Eugenia spent part of every day praying at the nearby Basilica of Saint Ambrose.

Around the age of 20, Eugenia felt a call to religious life and joined the Congregation of the Little Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Milan, Italy under the direction of its founder, Venerable Agostino Chieppi; she began her novitiate in Parma, Italy on 26 August 1888, and made her final vows in 1894.

After her profession, she served as: novice mistress, archivist, general secretary and member of the council. As Superior General, from 1911 until her death, she showed excellent governing skills and joyfully fulfilled her duties. She was a courageous woman and greatly enriched the spiritual and cultural formation of the sisters, always faithful to her life program which was "Suffer, be silent, love".

She was a mother to all especially to the poorest, the little ones, the lowly ones whom she served with generous and tireless charity. The needs and tragedies of her brothers created by World War I, 1915-1918, opened her heart even more to receive every cry, pain and social or individual concern.

The Eucharist was Eugenia's main support, the vital fulcrum of her interior life and of all her work and apostolic activity; it was her great love, the center of her piety, the food, comfort and joy of her days filled with prayer and fatigue. Christ instilled in her His zeal for the salvation of souls, His burning desire to lead all to the House of the Father. It was her constant love for Christ, burning within her, that explains her constant charitable activity.

She experienced poor health due to a degenerative bone condition, which in 1919 led to the amputation of her right leg. She died on September 7, 1921 at Parma, Italy of natural causes. She was beatified on October 7, 2001 by Pope John Paul II.


"As Jesus has chosen bread, which is very ordinary, so must my life be, ordinary, approachable by all and, at the same time, humble and hidden, as the yeast."

~ Blessed Eugenia

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