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August 6

Saint Maria Francesca Rubatto

Saint Maria Francesca Rubatto

Nun, Founder New Order

(1844 – 1904)

“Do everything for the love of God and you will see that you do not feel the weight of anything. If we all begin by taking up our own cross willingly, we will find ourselves at the summit of the holy mountain without having felt its weight and without having put it off onto others.

Saint Maria Francesca Rubatto

Saint’s Life Story

His Early Life 

On Valentine’s Day, Anna Maria was born in 1844 to Giovanni Rubatto and Catarina Pavesioa in a working-class family in Carmagnola, a northern Italian town situated 18 miles south of Turin. She was one of eight children and she lost her father at the age of four. She received a marriage offer while a teenager but turned the offer and remained true all her life to a personal vow of virginity made as a child. 

Moved as an Orphan

When her mother died in 1863, the newly orphaned Maria moved to Turin to stay with an older sister. There she entered the service of a local noblewoman, Marianna Scoffone, as a lady-in-waiting. The older woman took a great liking to Maria. She treated her like a daughter and enabled her to spend her days in charitable works: conducting catechism classes for the local children and visiting the sick and the poor. When Marianna Scoffone died in 1882, Anna Maria returned to her sister. But then, the following year, an event took place which changed the trajectory of her life.

Stone Fell 

Maria had gone to Loano, Italy where she spent some time every day praying in the Capuchin church. One day, on leaving the church, as she was passing by the construction site for a new convent, a stone fell, hitting one of the workmen on the head. Anna Maria, with her years of experience, tended to the man’s wound and gave him some money – two days’ pay – so he could take time to recover.

Maria Francesca di Gesù

Her act of charity did not go unnoticed. It so happened that the women who were to occupy the convent were looking for a spiritual leader, and now they felt that God had given them a sign. The sisters took it as a sign that Rubatto was the person the sisters needed.  So, in 1885, she took the name Maria Francesca di Gesù.

Capuchin Sisters of Mother Rubatto

On the orders of Bishop Filippo Allegro, she became the superior of the group that is known as the Capuchin Sisters of Mother Rubatto.  Although she had been chosen initially for her show of spirituality in action, no doubt her experience of managing Marianna Scoffone’s estate over several years had given her the administrative capabilities and financial know-how so vital to the successful running of a worldwide religious community. 

Many Atlantic Crossings Starting Many Houses

Soon the community expanded beyond the bounds of Loano to other parts of northern Italy. Then, in 1892, Mother Rubatto sailed for Montevideo in Uruguay, one of seven trips, providing zealous support for her sisters on two sides of the Atlantic. In her nearly 20 years as superior, she established 18 houses in Italy, Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil. On another Atlantic crossing, Maria was asked to begin a mission in the rain forest with Capuchin friars from Italy. Maria and her sisters stayed at the mission for 3 months. In addition, the Capuchin Sisters of Mother Rubatto now also serve in Peru, Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Ethiopia, and Eritrea.

In 1904, during one of her visits to Uruguay, Mother Rubatto fell ill. She died of cancer on August 6 and was buried among the poor, as she had requested. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1993 and considered the first blessed of Uruguay.

Born:                   February 14, 1844 in Carmagnola, Italy

Died:                   August 6, 1904 age 59 in Montevideo, Uruguay

Beatified:           October 10, 1993 by Pope John Paul II

Canonized:        May 15, 2022 by Pope Francis

Feast Day:          August 6

Patron Saint:    Capuchin Sisters of Mother Rubatto; Uruguay

Source:

Reflection

St Maria Francesca Rubatto dedicated her life to God. She did not know when she lost her father at 4 and her mother at 19 where life would lead her. She did not know that the next 19 years assisting Marianna Scoffone would provide her with the administrative skills to open up 18 Capuchin houses in 20 years in Europe and South America with missions in Uruguay, Argentina and even the deep forests of Brazil. She did not know she would become a nun at 38 and superior of a new order – Capuchin Sisters of Mother Rubatto. While my life and yours may not have us crossing oceans or starting new orders, with prayer, it is never too late for God to be increasing your faith for your next role. 

How can you increase your faith today? Can you assist a neighbor, go to a daily mass, read the Gospel, help out in a local food pantry or just provide the love and guidance for your own families to grow up God’s love?

Prayers

Saint Maria Francesca, may you intercede for us in keeping our hearts open to whatever God may have planned for us. With God’s grace, we can do anything he calls us no matter how difficult it may seem.

Saint Maria Francesca Rubatto, pray for us. Amen.

St Maria Francesca Rubatto, you lived a life of continuous service to the poor bearing witness to the special love that God has for the little ones and the humble. Intercede for us that we may lead a life worthy of the Gospel, loving Christ and His people.

Saint Maria Francesca Rubatto, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

All Saints & Martyrs – Blessed Anna Maria Rubatto

Catholic News Agency – Who are the 4 women being canonized this weekend?

Catholic Online – Blessed Maria Francesca Rubatto

CatholicSaints.Info – Saint Maria Francesca Rubatto

SL Media – Mother Maria Francesca Rubatto: Uruguay’s first canonized saint

Vermont Catholic – August Saint: Blessed Maria Francesca Rubatto

WikipediaAnna Maria Rubatto

Video Link

  The Ministering Angel of Uruguay Blessed Maria Francesca di Gesù (1844 – 1904) ​- YouTube (Shalom World)