Venerable Servant of God Antonietta Lesino

On 22 May 2021, the Holy Father Francis received His Eminence Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience, the Supreme Pontiff authorised the Congregation to promulgate the Decree concerning the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Antonietta Lesino, of the Institute of the Little Franciscan Family, who was born in Milan on 11 October 1897 and died in Brescia on 24 February 1962.

The Venerable Antonietta Lesino, a worker in Milan, professed the rule of the Franciscan Third Order in 1926. In1932 she consecrated herself in the “Little Franciscan Family”, a secular institute founded by the Servant of God Father Ireneo Mazzotti, OFM. Gifted with a distinctly contemplative nature, she fully lived the charism outlined by their co-foundress, Vincenza Stroppa, who was a schoolteacher: “To live the life of union with God, in the cell of the soul, in the midst of the world“. She spent some years with the Poor Clares of the monastery of Trevi in Umbria (1945-1950) and was enriched by the experience of prayer and fraternity of the daughters of St Clare. She spent the rest of her life in Ome (Brescia), where she was entrusted with the care of the Franciscan Cenacle “Maria Assunta”, the Mother House of the Institute. Here she exercised great dedication in welcoming the numerous sisters who came for retreats. In Ome, as she had done since her youth, she did her best to help those in need. She visited and comforted the sick and, as an expert nurse, provided the necessary care. She was therefore appreciated by the entire population, who admired her great goodness. She died suddenly when she was hit by a car on 24 February 1962 in Brescia, where she had gone to assist a sick sister. Her Cause of beatification began in 1969, with the Rev. Fr Antonio Cairoli, OFM, as Postulator General.