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.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

January 5 -- Feast of Blessed Maria Repetto

A couple of giuseppini
Giuseppini are small pictures of Saint Joseph.  They could be medallions or just miniature portraits.  Blessed Sister Maria Repetto, a nun of the Sisters (or Daughters) of Our Lady of Refuge on Mount Calvary, was regionally famous for giving away giuseppini to troubled supplicants.  

Maria was born into a large, pious family.  There were nine kids in all; four became nuns and one became a priest. That's a majority, if you're counting.  Besides, having one become a beata counts for three, at least.  

She entered the convent with the plan to work quietly, withdrawn from the public.  However, when her eyesight began to fail, they made her the portress, i.e. the doorkeeper, of the convent.  That became a bit of a problem for the other sisters, since she became a very popular medium for divine supplication.  The other sisters felt that all the regional folks tramping up to the door to beg a prayer from la Monaca Santa, the Holy Nun.  For a while, her abbess pulled her off door duty, but when she realized that Maria was not cultivating this following, but merely responding to the requests of the faithful, she put the sister back at the gate.  

Sister Maria Repetto had an informal way of talking to Jesus and especially to Saint Joseph throughout the day.  It has been written that in her later years she began to hear replies from them, but that's not the miracle I'd focus on.  Curing the blindness of someone else, even as her own eyes were failing -- now that's a holy miracle.  

A woman showed up at the convent one day, asking for prayer on behalf of her husband.  The man had gone blind.  Sister Maria promised she would pray, and after she did so, she went to the portrait of Saint Joseph hanging in the convent.  She turned it around to face the wall and told the saint, "Try yourself to see what it means to be in the dark."  The next day the woman returned to report that her husband's sight had been restored.  Maria righted the portrait, thanked the saint in plain terms, and returned to her post.  

It must be a nice thing to be on such frank terms with a saint.  Miracles are fine, as far as they go, but faith must be a real comfort. 

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