Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blessed Maria Fortunata Viti


Today we commemorate Blessed Maria Fortunata Viti (Anna Felicia Viti), a Benedictine nun who spent more than 70 years in the monastery.

Blessed Maria Fortunata Viti was born on February 10, 1827 in Veroli, Italy as Anna Felicia Viti.Her father was a gambler and a heavy drinker. After her mother died when she was 14 years old, she cared for her eight younger siblings. She also worked as a servant to support the family.

Anna joined the Benedictines in Veroli, Italy on March 21, 1851 at the age of 24, taking the religious name of Sister Maria Fortunata. She spent more 70 years in the monastery, always faithful to the Rule of "Prayer and Work" and to her personal motto: "Oh, the power and love of God." Her work consisted of simple tasks: spinning, sewing, washing, mending. Sister Maria never learned to read or write and she never held a position in her house, but she had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Her prayers were very powerful, and she had a special insight into recognizing the needs of others. When they came to her discouraged or burdened, she encouraged them, reminding them: "Short is the suffering, eternal the joy!"

Religious and lay people alike learned from her quiet, humble, happy, and prayerful example. Blessed Maria Fortunata died on November 20, 1922 in Veroli of natural causes. She was put into a mass grave and there are reported miracles at the grave site. She was beatified on October 8, 1967 by Pope Paul VI and awaits canonization.

Patronage: mental illness, loss of parents, against poverty and temptations.

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