Blessed Maria Domenica Mantovani & Venerable Cosma Spessotto OFM

Promulgation of Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints

On 26 May 2020, the Holy Father received in audience His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience, the Supreme Pontiff authorised the same Congregation to promulgate the decrees relating to:

  • the miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed María Domenica Mantovani, co-founder and first Superior General of the Institute of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family; born on 12 November 1862 in Castelletto di Brenzone, Italy, and died there on 2 February 1934;
  • the martyrdom of the Servant of God Cosma Spessotto (né Sante), professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor; born on 28 January 1923 in Mansué, Italy, and killed in San Juan Nonualco, El Salvador, in hatred of the faith, on 14 June 1980.



Blessed Maria Domenica Mantovani

Blessed Maria Domenica Mantovani (1862-1934) devoted herself from a young age to catechesis, the apostolate and the works of mercy. She accepted the call of the Lord through Blessed Giuseppe Nascimbeni, parish priest of Castelletto di Brenzone. He wanted her to assist him in founding the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family. As the first Superior General, she made a substantial contribution to the drafting of the Constitutions, inspired by the Rule of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Assisi. Her work complemented that of the Founder in giving his religious family the distinctive features of the spirit of prayer, industriousness and humility that have marked its life and action in the Church and the world. When Nascimbeni died in 1922, she continued to lead the Institute with fortitude and prudence, great wisdom and fidelity to God’s will. Before her death she had the consolation of seeing the work continued by about 1200 Sisters, scattered in 150 daughter houses in Italy and abroad, serving many apostolic and charitable activities. She was beatified in 2003. The miracle presented for canonisation took place in 2011 in the Diocese of Bahía Blanca in Argentina, in favour of a little girl suffering from a severe neurological pathology.


Venerable Servant of God Cosma Spessotto

The Venerable Servant of God Cosma Spessotto was born in Mansuè (Treviso) in 1923. He was a religious of the Friars Minor of Veneto and was ordained a priest in 1948. From a young age, he was keen to go as a missionary to China but was unable to do so after the expulsion of Catholic missionaries. He was sent to El Salvador, where he carried out the ministry of parish priest in the diocese of San Vicente, in present-day Zacotecoluca. He was a faithful witness to the Gospel in a context marked by profound social injustice and torn apart by bloody feuds. He called people, by word and works of mercy, to peace, dialogue and respect for life. His work of reconciliation brought him hatred from Christ’s enemies, who killed him at the hands of assassins, while he was at the altar after celebrating Mass in the parish church of San Juan Nonualco on 14 June 1980. The Cause of Beatification began in June 2000.