This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October 20 -- Feast of Saint Bertilla Boscardin...

and also the Feast of Venerable Ursula Benincasa.

I can't resist the opportunity to chart this contrast, especially given what I posted yesterday about the road to sainthood from privileged homes.  The easy conclusion is that privilege and connection don't get you everything.  Other conclusions can be drawn by readers and posted in the comments.

Name and home country: Ursula Benincasa; Italian
Century:   Seventeenth (1547 -- 1618)
Family Background:  born to wealthy art patrons; lots of relatives in Church hierarchy
Reputation as a Child:  Holy; given to ecstasies and visions; called to found a convent
Interactions with the Big Hats: her visions were investigated by Pope Gregory XIII and Saint Philip Neri;  she was credited by them with great holiness; no challenge to her divine inspirations.  
Achievements:  founded the Order of Theatine Nuns and also the Order of Contemplative Hermitesses
Setbacks: None recorded
Death: of being old in the 17th Century, at age 71
Venerated:  1793, by Pope Pius VI
Beatified:  Pending
Canonized:  only if beatified

Name and home country: Bertilla Boscardin, Italian
Century:  Twentieth (1888 - 1922) 
Family Background:  poor peasant family; dad was (by his own account) a violently abusive drunk
Reputation as a Child:  dimwit; nicknamed Goose 
Interactions with the Big Hats:  None. 
Achievements and Setbacks:  began work in the kitchen and laundry of a convent; trained as a nurse transferred to a hospital where she worked on a children's ward; became a favorite of the children; hospital converted to military use during WWI; she nursed injured Italian soldiers, even during shelling; evacuated with patients to Como; returned to children's ward after the war, but was reassigned to hospital laundry by supervisor who resented her popularity; Mother-General countermanded the transfer and eventually made her supervisor of the children's ward.
Death: of cancer at age 34
Venerated:  1949, by Pope Pius XII
Beatified: 1952, by Pope Pius XII
Canonized:  1961, Pope John XXIII

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