Feast of the day


10/20/2020 12:00:00 AM


        Anna Francesca Boscardin was born at Brendola, Veneto in 1888. She lived in fear of her father: a poor, violent and jealous farmer who was often drunk. As a child, she could attend school irregularly as she was needed to help at home and in the fields. She showed few talents and was often the target of jokes. She acquired the nickname, "the goose"; and all her life this nickname would remain with her both at home and in the convent.

        In 1904, she joined the Sisters of Saint Dorothy, Daughters of the Sacred Heart at Vicenza, taking the name, "Maria Bertilla." She was then sent to Treviso to learn nursing at the municipal hospital there, which was under the direction of her order.

        She began working in a hospital with children suffering from diphtheria. There, the young nun seemed to find her true vocation: nursing very ill and disturbed children. Later, when the hospital was taken over by the military in World War I, Sister Maria Bertilla cared for patients amidst the threat of constant air raids and bombings.

        She died in 1922 after suffering for many years from a painful tumor.

        Her reputation for simplicity, and devoted, caring hard work had left a deep impression on those who knew her. She was canonized in 1961.