August 06, 2018

Blessed Anna Maria Rubatto

πŸ“œAlso known as:
Anna Maria Rubatto
Madre Rubatto

6 August

BL. MARIA FRANCESCA RUBATTO (in the world Anna Maria) was born at Carmagnola, Italy, on 14 February 1844 and lost father when she was four years old. As a child she made a vow of virginity and refused a comfortable married life with a local notary. At the age of 19, she lost her mother and moved to Turin, where she was welcomed by Marianna Scoffone, a noblewoman whose esteem, trust and motherly affection she quickly earned.

Anna Maria went to many parishes in the city to teach catechism to children and she visited the sick in Cottolengo Hospital. She also sought out the poor and attended to the needs of the neglected. Marianna Scoffone died in 1882 and Anna Maria took a brief holiday on the Ligurian coast.

One morning after Mass at the Capuchin church in Loano, she heard cries: a stone had fallen from a convent under construction, striking a young worker on the head. Anna Maria came to his aid, cleaning the wound and giving him two-days' wages. The building was to house a community of women religious and the sisters were looking for a spiritual guide. When they had heard of the incident with the young worker they were certain that Anna Maria was the person they were looking for, but it was a Capuchin priest, Fr Angelico Martini, who convinced her to enter the community. After a year of reflection she joined them in the very house where the worker had been injured, and on orders of the Bishop Filippo Allegro, she became their superior and formation director, taking the name of Sister Maria Francesca of Jesus. Thus began the Institute of the Capuchin Sisters of Mother Rubatto.

The institute began to expand. In 1892 the foundress and some of her sisters went abroad as missionaries to Montevideo, spreading their apostolate to Uruguay and Argentina. Mother Maria Francesca crossed the ocean seven times and was later asked to begin a mission with some Capuchin friars from Milan at Alto Alegre in the Brazilian forest. She accepted the invitation and took six sisters with her, staying at the mission for three months. Eighteen months later, on 13 March 1901, Alto Alegre became an altar on which the sisters, the Capuchin missionaries and many of the faithful were sacrificed. Pope Leo XIII called the martyrs "the century's first fruits".

After her return to Italy she was again elected Superior General and accepted the office with her customary humility. With her Italian houses in order, she set out again for America, intending to visit for a few weeks. Her stay was lengthened to over a year and death overtook her on 6 August 1904. She is buried in Montevideo.

14 February 1844 at Carmagnola, Turin, Italy as Anna Maria Rubatto
6 August 1904 of natural causes in Uruguay
buried at Montevideo, Uruguay
1 September 1988 by Pope John Paul II (decree of martyrdom)
10 October 1993 by Pope John Paul II

From the letters of Blessed Mary Francis of Jesus
(Letters, 4 vols., Genoa, 1974 ff.)

Prayer, sacrifice, and the will of God

Dear daughters, there is no need for me to repeat it to you: every beginning demands sacrifices and therefore you cannot even imagine the need we have for prayer and divine help; may the Lord then inspire in us what is most fitting and pleasing to him. Divine Providence will not be lacking for us, even in temporal things. But what is more desirable is to be able to begin our mission with the sick and in teaching poor girls, and this will be obtained, I hope, by prayer and sacrifice. We have to pray very much that the Lord make us holy and sacrifice us for the good of souls.

Let us pray! Only prayer and the sacrifices that good souls make will be able to stop the many woes that are flooding the earth … May God keep you fervent in spirit and make you lovers of duty and of sacrifice, for without sacrificing ourselves—let us keep it in mind—no good will ever be done that can call itself truly good.

Attend lovingly and assiduously to what is yours to do. When you are busy, don’t think of so many miseries, but keep the mind centered in God and in what you are doing. This will put the conscience at peace and make the heart content …

Dear daughters, I recommend to you that you see things here below as always coming from the hand of God, so that you can remain at peace in abandonment to Divine Providence. Remember the great saying of our Seraphic Father who, amid fears, in sufferings, and in pains within and without, often repeated: “So great is the good that awaits me that every pain is a delight.”

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.

It is very true that sometimes a bit of storminess comes to us, but this is not always a matter of harm. We get beaten up a little—this I don’t deny—but this also makes us turn back more often to God who comes to our help, who breaks us out of bad habits, supports us, and strengthens us in the virtues of humility, patience, and charity. Blessed be God who in his goodness does not smite us completely, but only when we have need of purifying ourselves of our many defects …

How sad it is to see the suffering that comes from being without the comfort of our holy religion! When we have worked hard to stand up straight again under the weight of some problem that has come, there comes another that makes us pine for the former … Let us not lose heart in misfortunes! These are in fact our valid passport to heaven, to our true homeland!

Pray and work hard in the field that the Lord has prepared for you; obtain much merit for yourselves, keeping in mind that this life passes quickly and nothing remains before God but the good works done with a right and holy intention. Let us console ourselves with the thought that the one who suffers more will merit more, though only on the condition that our we offer our sufferings to Jesus our Spouse.

Let us procure for ourselves the grace of carrying our difficulties in peace and even to kiss them, for they are mixed with roses. You cannot ask God why. In great afflictions we cannot do other but resign ourselves to the Will of God and to repeat what a certain holy mother foundress said many times: “O Will of God, you are my Paradise.”

Caupuchin Sisters of Mother Rubatto

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