Tuesday, March 26, 2013

April 22 – Blessed Maria Gabriella Sagheddu 1914 – 1939

Patron Saint of Ecumenism

Beatified: 25 January 1983, Basilica of St. Paul outside the Walls, Rome, Italy by John Paul II

Blessed Sister Maria Gabriella Sagheddu was born in Sardinia in 1914. She was a Trappist nun who lived in an enclosed order of cloistered contemplative monastics and followed the Rule of St Benedict. She died of tuberculosis in the Trappist monastery of Grottaferrata in 1939.

After her death, it was noted that in her Bible, Chapter 17 of St. John’s Gospel had become worn from being read so much. In this chapter, Jesus prays to the Father on behalf of his disciples. Of particular significance are verses 11 and 21, in which Jesus prays “that they may be one”. These verses are commonly used for a motto of the ecumenical movement, the direct expression of Jesus’ will for the unity of his disciples.

Sister Maria Gabriella saw Christian disunity as wounds to the body of Christ, an image
often used to demonstrate the negative effects of sectarianism.

Because of her spiritual devotion to Christian unity, she was beatified by pope John Paul II in 1983.

Challenge: As part of your discernment spend some time with some people from other denominations. Learn and share together.