Canonisation of Blessed Maria Domenica Mantovani

The new saint that Pope Francis inscribes in the Calendar of the Universal Church on Sunday, 15 May 2022, belongs to the Franciscan family by virtue of her profession of the Rule of the Third Order. The Little Sisters of the Holy Family, who were founded under the guidance of the parish priest of Castelletto di Brenzone, Blessed Giuseppe Nascimbeni, were born with a genuinely Franciscan inspiration. They had been formed for religious life in the monastery of the Tertiaries of San Bernardino in Verona. The very title of “Little Sisters” was intended to evoke the “minority” of the saint of Assisi, chosen by Nascimbeni as the Institute’s special patron.
Maria Domenica Mantovani spent her whole life in Castelletto di Brenzone (Verona), where she was born in 1862. She received her Christian education through catechism and parish life. She learned hard work and generosity from her exemplary parents. These qualities prepared her to lead the new Institute, of which she was Superior General for about forty years with wisdom and prudence. With her maternal, gentle, delicate and firm actions and the example of her holy life, she contributed decisively to the development and expansion of the Little Sisters. She collaborated in drawing up the Constitutions and opened numerous houses to respond with evangelical charity to the social emergencies of her time. Before her death, she had the consolation of obtaining the definitive approval of the Institute and of seeing the work continued by about 1200 sisters present in 150 filial houses in Italy and abroad. After a short illness, she died in the motherhouse on 2 February 1934. The Cause was begun in 1968 by Br Antonio Cairoli, OFM, the then Postulator General. She was beatified by St John Paul II on 27 April 2003.