Sunday, 7 May 2017

Saint Rose Venerini

Foundress and pioneer in the education of women

The 7th of May is the feast day of Saint Rose Venerini.

Saint Rose Venerini lived between 1656 and 1728 and was born in Italy to a pious physician and his wife. She was one of four children and was a gifted and smart child. She consecrated her life to God at the age of 5. At the age of 20 she had to make a decision between marriage and the cloister, and after much prayer, she decided to enter the monastery. After a few months, she had to return home due to the sudden death of her father, after which her brother and mother died as well. She gathered young women around her neighbourhood to pray the rosary. They inspired her to begin a school for instruction and human formation and became Italy's first public school for girls. This was seen as innovative as teaching catechisms belonged to the clergy. Though there was some resistance, they saw the fruit of her work; the moral improvement of the women taught. Even the Pope attended one of her classes and praised her for her good works. She was eventually asked by governors and cardinals to open schools in their areas. She opened 40 schools across Italy dedicated to education and promotion of women and uplifting the ennobling of society. Her motto was "Educate to save."


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