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Life of St. Agostina Pietrantoni

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Saint Agostina Pietrantoni was an Italian Sister of Charity of St. Joan Antida who worked with the sick in the 1800s and was murdered by one of her patients at the age of 30.

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Life of St. Agostina Pietrantoni

  1. 1. S T. A G O S T I N A P I E T R A N T O N I
  2. 2. St. Agostina Livia Pietrantoni was born on 27 March 1864 in an area of Italy bordered by Rieti, Orvinio and Tivoli. She was the second of 11 children born to farmers. She grew up with the values of an honest, hard-working and religious family.
  3. 3. She worked in the fields and looked after the animals, and went to school very irregularly. At the age of 7 she went to work with some other children, transporting sacks of stones and sand for construction of a road from Orvinio to Poggio Moiano. At 12 she left with other "seasonal workers" who went to Tivoli during the winter months for the olive harvest. She was very grown-up and wise for her age, and she took moral and religious responsibility for her young companions.
  4. 4. An attractive young woman, Livia nevertheless chose Christ as her Spouse. Some people said she was becoming a Sister to run away from hard work. She replied, no: "I wish to choose a congregation in which there is work both day and night". After being rejected by one congregation, the Superior General of the Sisters of Charity of St. Joan Antida Thouret let her know that she could join them.
  5. 5. Livia was 22 when she arrived in Rome. A few months as a postulant and novice were enough to prove that the young girl had the makings of a Sister of Charity, that is, of a "servant of the poor" in the tradition of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Joan Antida. She was given the name of Sister Agostina.
  6. 6. Sr. Agostina was sent to Santo Spirito Hospital, which after 700 years of glorious history was referred to as "the school of Christian charity". Following the saints who had preceded her, including Charles Borromeo, Joseph Calasanctius, John Bosco and Camillus de Lellis, Sr. Agostina made her personal contribution in this place of suffering.
  7. 7. The atmosphere in the hospital was hostile to religion. The Capuchin Friars were expelled, the crucifix and all the other religious signs were forbidden. The hospital even wanted to send the Sisters away but they were afraid of becoming unpopular with the local people.
  8. 8. First in the childrens' ward and later in the tuberculosis ward, a place of despair and death, Sr. Agostina showed an extraordinary dedication and concern for each sick person. While working in the tuberculosis ward, Sister contracted the disease. She received Viaticum and then recovered, miraculously.
  9. 9. The ward held some unruly men, some of them convicts. They blasphemed and sputtered vulgarities. She never failed to be patient and cheerful, even with the most violent one, Giuseppe Romanelli.
  10. 10. How many times she offered Romanelli to Our Lady! He was the worst of them all, the most vulgar and insolent, especially towards Sr. Agostina. Eventually the director expelled him from the hospital, because he kept provoking the women working in the laundry. He wanted to blame someone and poor Sr. Agostina was the victim. "I will kill you with my own hands. Sr. Agostina, you only have a month to live!", were the threats he sent to her in little notes.
  11. 11. Romanelli was not joking. He caught her unawares on 13 November 1894 and cruelly stabbed her before she could escape. her lips uttered nothing but invocations to the Virgin Mary and words of forgiveness.
  12. 12. Based on Saint Agostina Pietrantoni on vatican.va

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