August Feast Days

St.Jeanne Jugan

Jeanne Jugan grew up in a small town in revolutionary France. Times were tough. Violence ruled the day. For thousands, begging was a way of life.

Those who openly practiced their faith were not merely ridiculed – they were imprisoned or killed. Jeanne received her faith formation, secretly and at great risk, from her mother and a group of women who belonged to a lay movement of the day.

By the time Jeanne was four years old her father had been lost at sea. Her mother found odd jobs to make ends meet. Neighbor helped neighbor. As a young girl Jeanne worked as a shepherdess. She learned to knit and spin wool. Later she went to work as a kitchen maid for a wealthy family.

Jeanne barely learned to read and write. Her education consisted mostly of on-the-job training in the school of real life. Neither beautiful nor talented in the usual sense, she was gifted with an extraordinary heart. Jeanne was on fire with love for God!

Those who let themselves be seized by the love of Christ cannot help abandoning everything to follow him… Barely out of her teens, Jeanne felt the call of divine love. Preparing to leave home, she told her mother “God wants me for himself. He is keeping me for a work which is not yet founded.” Jeanne took the road less traveled, setting out to work among the poor and forsaken in a local hospital.

Many years went by before Jeanne discovered her vocation. Finally, one cold winter night she met Jesus Christ in the person of an elderly, blind and infirm woman who had no one to care for her. Jeanne carried the woman home, climbed up the stairs to her small apartment and placed her in her own bed. From then on, Jeanne would sleep in the attic.

God led more poor old people to her doorstep. Generous young women came to help. Like Jeanne, they wanted to make a difference. Like her, they believed that “the poor are Our Lord.” A religious community was born!

There were so many old people in need of a home, so many souls hungry for love! The work rapidly spread across France and beyond. Struck by their spirit of humble service, local citizens dubbed the group the Little Sisters of the Poor. The name stuck!

For herself Jeanne chose the religious name Sister Mary of the Cross. She would live it in its fullness …

The work of the Little Sisters continued to spread, borne by the wind of the Spirit. So did Jeanne’s renown – until one day she was mysteriously cast aside by an ambitious priest who had taken over the direction of the young community.

Jeanne was replaced as superior and sent out begging on behalf of the poor. And then one day she was placed in retirement, relegated to the shadows. At the time of her death 27 years later, the young Little Sisters didn’t even know that she was the foundress.

Jeanne had often told them, “We are grafted into the cross and we must carry it joyfully unto death.” How she lived these words! What a radiant example of holiness she gave to generations of Little Sisters!

Like the grain of wheat that falls into the earth and dies, Jeanne’s life would bear much fruit. Thousands of young women followed in her footsteps. The Little Sisters’ mission of hospitality spread to the ends of the earth, like a great wave of charity.

In his time, God would raise Jeanne up. At her beatification Pope John Paul II said that “God could glorify no more humble a servant than she.”

Pope Benedict said that Saint Jeanne’s canonization would “show once again how living faith is prodigious in good works, and how sanctity is a healing balm for the wounds of humankind.”

A friend of the poor – a Gospel witness for our time – a Saint for old age and every age!

August Feast Days


Aurelius Augustinus was born in Thagaste (now Souk-Ahras, Algeria), in the North African province of Rome called Numidia, on 13 November 354 A.D. Thagaste lies in the eastern Algerian hills, 45 miles from the Mediterranean coast. Augustine’s parents, Patrick (in some texts referred to by the Latin form of his name, Patricius) and Monica (also spelled Monnica), were free people and minor landowners who spent more on their son’s schooling than they could truly afford. It is possible that both of Augustine’s parents were ethnically Berber, but the culture in which they lived was wholly Roman. Augustine was a native Latin speaker, although he had a North African accent that made him intensely self-conscious as a young man.

Augustine was trained by various second-rate teachers in Thagaste, and showed early promise in rhetoric and grammar. From 366-369 he went to the nearby town of Mandauros to study. At the age of fifteen he was obliged to abandon his schooling temporarily because his family ran low on funds. After a year, his family was able to afford to send him to Carthage (370). He did well in his studies, and learned enough to become a teacher of rhetoric and grammar. He acquired a female companion who became his concubine for many years. With this unnamed woman he had a son, Adeodatus, in 372. That same year, Augustine’s father died.

In 373 Augustine returned to Thagaste with his concubine to pursue a career as an orator and seek public office. For a time he followed the Manichee religion, which he refers to many times in Confessions. Augustine came to see this heretical form of Christianity as a principle error of his youth, and used his refutation of it to explain some of the basic tenets of Christianity. Later, after his ordination, he wrote extensively against this religion.

He moved to Carthage in 376 to teach, but eventually found the students there too prone to vandalism and rowdiness for him to teach properly. He was told of the Roman students’ reputation for modesty and studiousness, and with the encouragement of his friends and family, he decided to move there in 383. He brought his concubine and son with him. In Rome, he came into contact with the school of skeptical philosophy, which struck him as a particularly useful form of intellectual inquiry. While acquiring this instruction, he began to chip away at his Manichee faith. The students in Rome also disappointed Augustine, especially since there was a practice there of cheating teachers out of their fees. He accepted a professorship in Milan, which was then the seat of the Imperial Court, in 384.

Soon after his arrival in Milan, Augustine met the beloved and charismatic Christian Bishop Ambrose. The bishop impressed him with his oratorical style and modesty, but Augustine was still unable to accept the Christian faith. Monica came to Milan to live near Augustine, and impressed him with her pious life. She and his friends encouraged him to marry, and he became engaged. Since his female companion was an impediment to this socially advantageous union, she was sent back to Africa. Adeodatus, now twelve, was left behind with his father. In Milan, Augustine read Neoplatonic philosophy that helped him accept Christianity. He was also introduced by Bishop Ambrose to the practice of figurative interpretation of the Bible, which also helped him reconcile several problematic Old Testament texts with his own idea of morality.

In 386, after much religious anxiety, Augustine had an ecstatic vision in his garden. Before him he saw Lady Continence, who told him to take a leap of faith. He had been so agitated in body and mind that the vision came as a release. He was converted, partially by the chance overhearing of “Pick up and read” from a child at a nearby house. He picked up his book of the Apostle Paul and read a passage that he believed pertained exactly to him. He resigned his teaching post, and went to a villa in Cassiciacum to rest and recover from a lung complaint. The following Easter, he was baptized by Bishop Ambrose in Milan. Augustine and his mother decided to return to Africa, where they felt that they would be able to do the most good for God.

In Ostia, on the way home to Africa, Augustine and his mother had a vision of the rewards of heaven. Shortly afterwards she fell ill, and died at the age of 56. Augustine returned to Thagaste, and his teenage son Adeodatus died of unknown causes in 389. He was active in his church, and, as was common at the time, was forced (by popular acclaim) into ordination in the town of Hippo Regius. He became a priest and wrote extensively against the Manichee religion, which was currently flourishing in North Africa. Eventually, Augustine built a monastery in Hippo and founded a religious order. In 395 or 396 he was made Bishop of Hippo, a post he held until his death. He wrote a great deal during this time, most notably Confessions (397-400) and City of God (413-426). He wrote continually on theology and refuted the various Christian heresies in existence at that time.

In 430, Augustine died of an illness during the third month of the 14-month siege of Hippo by the Vandals. He was 75 years old. He was canonized “pre-congregation” (that is, before the accepted Roman Catholic process of investigation, beatification, and canonization) during the reign of Pope Leo I (440-461). His feast is August 28th, and he is the patron saint of brewers, printers, those with sore eyes, and theologians.

August Feast Days


Saint Monica, also known as Monica of Hippo, is St. Augustine of Hippo’s mother. She was born in 331 A.D. in Tagaste, which is present-day Algeria.

When she was very young, she was married off to the Roman pagan Patricius, who shared his mother’s violent temper. Patricius’ mother lived with the couple and the duo’s temper flares proved to be a constant challenge to young Monica.

While Monica’s prayers and Christian deeds bothered Patricius, he is said to have respected her beliefs.

Three children were born to Monica and Patricius: Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua. Unfortunately, Monica was unable to baptize her children and when Augustine fell ill, Monica pleaded with Patricius to allow their son to be baptized.

Patricius allowed it, but when Augustine was healthy again, he withrew his permission.

For years Monica prayed for her husband and mother-in-law, until finally, one year before Patricius’ death, she successfully converted them.

As time passed, Perpetua and Navigius entered the religious life, but unfortunately Augustine became lazy and uncouth. This greatly worried Monica, so when Patricius died, she sent the 17-year-old Augustine to Carthage for schooling.

While in Carthage, Augustine became a Manichaean, which was a major religion that saw the world as light and darkness, and when one died, they were removed from the world of matter and returned to the world of light, which is where life comes from.

After Augustine got his education and returned home, he shared his views with Monica, who drove him from her table. Though it is not recorded how much time passed, Monica had a vision that convinced her to reconcile with her wayward son.

Monica went to a bishop, who told her, “the child of those tears shall never perish.”

Inspired, Monica followed Augustine to Rome, where she learned he had left for Milan. She continued her persual and eventually came upon St. Ambrose, who helped her convert Augustine to Christianity following his seventeen-year resistance.

Augustine later wrote a book called Confessions, in which he wrote of Monica’s habit of bringing “to certain oratories, erected in the memory of the saints, offerings of porridge, bread, water and wine.”

When Monica moved to Milan, a bishop named Ambrose told her wine “might be an occasion of gluttony for those who were already given to drink,” so she stopped preparing wine as offerings for the saints.

Augustine wrote: “In place of a basket filled with fruits of the earth, she had learned to bring to the oratories of the martyrs a heart full of purer petitions, and to give all that she could to the poor – so that the communion of the Lord’s body might be rightly celebrated in those places where, after the example of his passion, the martyrs had been sacrificed and crowned.”

After a period of six months, Augustine was baptized in the church of St. John the Baptist at Milan. The pair were led to believe they should spread the Word of God to Africa, but it the Roman city of Civitavecchia, Monica passed away.

Augustine recorded the words she imparted upon him when she realized death was near. “Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight. I do not know what there is now left for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled.”

She was buried at Ostia, and her body was removed during the 6th century to a hidden crypt in the church of Santa Aurea in Osta, near the tomb of St. Aurea of Ostia.

In 1430, Pope Martin V ordered her relics to be brought to Rome and many miracles were reported to have occurred along the way. Later, Cardinal d’Estouteville built a church to honor St. Augustine called the Basilica di Sant’Agostino, where her relics were placed in a chapel to the left of the high altar.

Her funeral epitaph survived in ancient manuscripts and the stone it was originally written on was discovered in the church of Santa Aurea in 1945.

Douglas Boin translated the tablet’s Latin to read:

“Here the most virtuous mother of a young man set her ashes, a second light to your merits, Augustine.

As a priest, serving the heavenly laws of peace, you taught [or you teach] the people entrusted to you with your character. A glory greater than the praise of your accomplishments crowns you both – Mother of the Virtues, more fortunate because of her offspring.”

August Feast Days

Our Lady of Czestochowa

The origin of this miraculous image in Czestochowa, Poland is unknown for absolute certainty, but according to tradition the painting was a portrait of Our Lady done by St. John sometime after the Crucifixion of Our Lord and remained in the Holy Land until discovered by St. Helena of the Cross in the fourth century. The painting was taken to Constaninople, where St. Helena’s son, the Emperor Constantine, erected a church for its enthronement. This image was revered by the people of the city.

During  the siege by the Saracens, the invaders became frightened when the people carried the picture in a procession around the city; the infidels fled. Later, the image was  threatened with burning by an evil emperor, who had a wife, Irene, who saved it and hid it from harm. The image was in that city for 500 years, until it became part of some dowries, eventually being taken to Russia to a region that later became Poland.

After the portrait became the possession of the Polish prince, St. Ladislaus in the 15th century, it was installed in his castle. Tartar invaders besieged the castle and an enemy arrow pierced Our Lady’s image, inflicting a scar. Interestingly, repeated attempts to fix the image, artistically have all failed.

Tradition says that St. Ladislaus determined to save the image from repeated invasions, so he went to his birthplace, Opala, stopping for rest in Czestochowa; the image was brought nearby to Jasna Gora [“bright hill”] and placed in a small wooden church named for the Assumption. The following morning, after the picture was carefully placed in the wagon, the horses refused to move. St. Ladislaus understood this to be a sign from Heaven that the image should stay in Czestochowa; thus he replaced the painting in the Church of the Assumption, August 26, 1382, a day still observed as the Feast Day of the painting. The Saint wished to have the holiest of men guard the painting, so he assigned the church and the monastery to the Pauline Fathers, who have devoutly protected the image for the last six hundred years.

Having survived two attacks upon it, Our Lady’s image was next imperiled by the Hussites, followers of the heretic priest, John Hus from Prague. The Hussites did not accept papal authority as coming from Christ and taught that mortal sin deprived an office holder of his position, among other heresies. Hus had been influenced by John Wyclif and became infected with his errors. Hus was tried and condemned at Constance in 1415. The Hussites successfully stormed the Pauline monastery in 1430, plundering the sanctuary. Among the items stolen was the image. After putting it in their wagon, the Hussites went a little ways but then the horses refused to go any further. Recalling the former incident that was so similar, the heretics threw the portrait down to the ground, which shattered the image into three pieces. One of the plunderers drew his sword and slashed the image twice, causing two deep gashes; while attempting a third gash, he was overcome with a writhing agony and died.

The two slashes on the cheek of the Blessed Virgin, together with the one on the throat, not readily visible in our copy, have always reappeared after artistic attempts to fix them.

The portrait again faced danger in 1655 by a Swedish horde of 12,000, which confronted the 300 men guarding the image. The band of 300 routed the 12,000 and the following year, the Holy Virgin was acclaimed Queen of Poland.

In September 14, 1920, when the Russian army assembled at the River Vistula, in preparation for invading Warsaw, the Polish people prayed to Our Lady. the next day was the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. The Russians quickly withdrew after the image appeared in the clouds over Warsaw. In Polish history, this is known as the Miracle of Vistula.

During the Nazi occupation of Poland in World War II, Hitler order all religious pilgrimages stopped. In a demonstration of love for Our Lady and their confidence in her protection, a half million Poles went to the sanctuary in defiance of Hitler’s orders. Following the liberation of Poland in 1945, a million and a half people expressed their gratitude to the Madonna by praying before this miraculous image.

Twenty-eight years after the Russian’s first attempt at capturing the city, they successfully took control of Warsaw and the entire nation in 1948. That year more than 800,000 brave Poles made a pilgrimage to the sanctuary at Czestochowa on the Feast of the Assumption, one of the three Feast days of the image; the pilgrims had to pass by the Communist soldiers who patrolled the streets.

Today, the Polish people continue to honor their beloved portrait of the Madonna and Child, especially on August 26, the day reserved by St. Ladislaus. Because of the dark pigment on Our Lady’s face and hands, the image is affectionately called the “Black Madonna,” most beautifully prefigured in the Bible, in the Canticle of Canticles, “I am black but beautiful.” The pigmentation is ascribed primarily to age and the need to keep it hidden for long periods of time in places where the only light was from candles, which colored the painting with smoke.

The miracles attributed to Our Lady of Czestochowa are many and most spectacular. The original accounts of them,  some of them cures, are archived by the Pauline Fathers at Jasna Gora.

Papal recognition of the miraculous image was made by Pope Clement XI in 1717. The crown given to the image was used in the first official coronation of the painting, which was stolen in 1909.

Pope Pius X replaced it with a gold one encrusted with jewels.

August Feast Days

The Transverberation of St.Teresa of Avila

Today the Discalced Carmelite Order celebrates that mystical grace granted to St. Teresa which we call the Transverberation, also referred to within the Carmels of Ávila as “la gracia del dardo” or the “grace of the dart.”

The transverberation is commonly referred to as St. Teresa’s entrance into the state of Spiritual Marriage. This state is described in the Saint’s 7th mansion in her book The interior Castle. It is interesting to note that when St. Teresa’s incorruptible heart was preserved, a small puncture site was discovered thus confirming this precise experience.

St. Teresa herself recounts the experience in chapter 29 of her Life:

“I saw close to me toward my left side an angel in bodily form. … the angel was not large but small; he was very beautiful, and his face was so aflame that he seemed to be one of those very sublime angels that appear to be all afire. They must belong to those they call the cherubim, for they didn’t tell me their names. … I saw in his hands a large golden dart and at the end of the iron tip there appeared to be a little fire. It seemed to me this angel plunged the dart several times into my heart and that it reached deep within me. When he drew it out, I thought he was carrying off with him the deepest part of me; and he left me all on fire with great love of God. The pain was so great that it made me moan, and the sweetness this greatest pain caused me was so superabundant that there is no desire capable of taking it away; nor is the soul content with less then God. The pain is not bodily but spiritual, although the body doesn’t fail to share in some of it, and even a great deal. The loving exchange that takes place between the soul and God is so sweet that I beg Him in goodness to give a taste of this love to anyone who thinks I am lying.” (Life, 29.13)

Jesus, You want your Spirit of Love to blaze like fire throughout the world; may we, like Saint Teresa, be instrumental in keeping that flame of love alight.

You sanctify Your friends and reveal to them the mysteries of Your heart; unite our hearts to yours in a friendship so close and intimate that we may experience the secrets of Your Love, proclaim it to others, and win them to you.

You blessed the pure of heart and promised that they would see You; purify our sight so that we may see you in all things, and through all things be close to You.

You oppose the proud and give wisdom to the simple; make us humble of heart, so that we may receive Your wisdom for the sake of the Church.

~ Intercessions from the Carmelite Proper of the Liturgy of the Hours

August Feast Days

St.Mary of the Crucified

Mariam Baouardy was born of the eve of Epiphany in Abellin, in upper Galilee into a Lebanese family belonging to the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church Her brother, Paul was born two years later. Her parents died within a few days of each other. She was adopted by her uncle, her brother by an aunt. The brother and sister were never to see each other again.

An aunt related to Marian her Father’s last words. Looking at a picture of St.Joseph, he had murmured: “Great Saint, here is my child; the blessed Virgin is her mother; deign to look after her also, be her Father.”Known as a dreamer, a thoughtful child, she never attended school or learned to read or write. This absence of education only heightened her consciousness of the interior life and reflection.After playing in her uncle’s orchard with a cage of little birds she gave them a bath and they died. Heart-broken, she was burying them when in the depths of her heart a very clear voice uttered “ This is how everything passes! If you give me your heart, I shall always remain with you!”

At eight years old her Uncle moved family to Alexandria and at twelve she is betrothed to her aunt’s brother.Mariam spent the night before her wedding in prayer before an Icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Having dozed off for a moment she heard the same voice murmur:”Mariam, I am with you: follow the inspiration I shall give you; I will help you.” Upon wakening with joy she cut her long braids and entwined them with jewels she had received from her fiancé and stated she wanted to remain a virgin consecrated to Jesus Christ. Her uncle enraged made her a servant in his home.Three months later, desirous of seeing her brother, she leaves her uncle and seeks to travel with a former Muslin house servant going to Nazareth to find him.The Muslim, after hearing about her family’s treatment of her, said she should convert to Islam. Her faith-filled response infuriated him and unable to control himself he slashed her throat. Believing her dead he wrapped her in a cloak and with the help of his wife and mother, deposited her in an alley.

After a vision of heaven, Marian found herself in a grotto. A religious in azure clothing had stitched her neck and was tenderly caring for her.Toward the end of her care the ‘nurse’ outlined her life’s program:”You will never see your family again; you will go to France, where you will become a religious. You will be a child of St. Joseph before becoming a daughter of St. Teresa. You will receive the habit of Carmel in one house, you will make your profession in a second, and you will die in a third, at Bethlehem.”Sometime later she recounted to her spiritual director, “I know now that the religious who cared for me after my martyrdom was the Blessed Virgin.”

As a result of this deep cut, Mariam’s voice was always hoarse. The scar, marked the whole front of her neck, and measured 10 cm. in length and 1cm. in width. Doctors later attested that several cartilaginous rings of the tracheal artery were missing.

After various maid-servant positions in Alexandria and Jerusalem, she settled in Marseilles. At eighteen, her confessor directed her to the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition at Capelette.In January of 1866, the postulant now 20 years old, called ‘the little Arab’, began having ecstasies and from Wednesday evening to Friday morning each week the ecstasies added a curious phenomenon: the Stigmata.

From the memoirs of Mother Veronica-

“On the first Thursday, May 2, 1867, when I went to see Mary, I found her sitting near her bed in great pain. She showed me her side, her feet and her hands. On these latter, in the place where they had been imprinted…there was a sort of blister… At the place in her side, a little above the heart, there was the form of a cross all red and swollen; and in the middle three small blisters…I spent the night near her and at five o’clock in the morning blood flowed from the wounds…About nine o’clock blood flowed from the crown of thorns, all about her head. After three hours she was completely herself again.” Marian prayed, “My God, do not permit this to be seen. I accept all the thorns in my heart; but tell the Master of the rosebush to hide the roses.” Due to these strange manifestations, Marian is not accepted as a novice in St. Joseph’s active community. The Superior General writes to the Prioress of the Carmel of Pau.”Our ecclesiastical superiors did not believe we should keep her in our midst saying the cloister had the privilege of hiding such souls. Our sisters obeyed. You now have this privileged soul. May God be praised for it! ”

Mother Marie Therese Veronica writes:

“To see her, one would not have thought her more than twelve years of age. Her small stature, her candid face, her difficulty in expressing herself in our language, her profound ignorance of everything, for she could not read Arabic or French; all this contributed to her child-like character…However, surprisingly, she joined with that simplicity the greatest wisdom, an upright spirit, delicate judgment, much discernment, and the experience of an older person. If she did not possess acquired talents, we were not long in being convinced that her heart and her spirit were rich in gifts that produce great souls.”

Her novice mistress writes,

“This dear child has an extraordinary devotion to the Holy Spirit. When she speaks of Him, it is with burning expressions and her whole exterior is lit up by it. In one ecstasy, she heard this prayer, which has gone around the world.”

“ Holy Spirit, inspire me.

Love of God, consume me.

Along the true road, lead me.

Mary, my mother, look upon me.

With Jesus, bless me.

From all evil, form all illusion,

from all danger, preserve me.”

“ Near me, on the left side, I saw an angel in corporeal form. He was not large, but small and beautiful. I saw that he held in his hand a long dart of gold, the iron tip of which I believe held a little fire. It seemed to me he plunged it several times through my heart…When withdrawing it one would have said that this iron …left me wholly inflamed with an immense love of God. “

On August 22nd, while carrying two buckets of water,she fell over a box of geraniums and fractured her arm.

Carried to the infirmary, she said, “It is a signal of the end. I am going to Jesus.” On the Feast of the Transverberation of St. Teresa’s heart, a little after 5 a.m., while the Angelus was being sung, she went home to God.

Here in the peace of the Lord reposes Sister Mary of Jesus Crucified, professed religious of the white veil. A soul of singular graces, she was conspicuous for her humility, her obedience and her charity. Jesus, the sole love of her heart called her to Himself in the 33rd year of her age and the 12th year of her religious life at Bethlehem, 26 August 1878. – inscribed on Blessed Mary’s tombstone

St.Mary of Jesus Crucified was canonized on May 17,2015.

August Feast Days

Blessed Maria Troncatti

Sr. Maria was born in Cortegno Golgi (Brescia) on February 16, 1883.

She grew up happy and hardworking in her numerous family, dividing her time between the farm and caring for her little brothers and sisters, in the warm and loving atmosphere created by her exemplary parents. She regularly attended catechism in her parish, where as an adolescent Maria developed a deep Christian spirit and opened her heart to the values of a religious vocation.

In obedience to her parish priest, however, she waited till she reached adulthood before asking to be admitted to the Institute of the Salesian Sisters.

She made her first profession in 1908 at Nizza Monferrato.

During the First World War (1915-18) Sr. Maria took a course in health care in Varazze and worked as a Red Cross nurse in the military hospital. This experience was to prove very valuable in the course of her long missionary life in the Amazon forests of Ecuador.

She left for Ecuador in 1922 and was sent to work among the Shuar people where, together with two other Sisters, she began the difficult work of evangelisation. They faced dangers of every kind, including those caused by the beasts of the forest and by fast flowing rivers that had to be waded through or crossed on fragile “bridges” made from creepers or on the shoulders of the Indians.

Macas, Sevillia Don Bosco, Sucúa are some of the “miracles” of Sr. Maria Troncatti’s work that still flourish. She was nurse, surgeon, orthopaedist, dentist, anaesthetist… But, above all, she was catechist and evangeliser, rich in the wonderful resources of her faith, patience and fraternal love.

Her work for the promotion of the Shuar woman bore fruit in hundreds of new Christian families formed, for the first time, on a free personal choice on the part of the young couple.

Sr. Maria died in a tragic air crash at Sucúa on August 25, 1969. Her remains lie at Macas, in the Province of Morona (Ecuador). The Servant of God, Sister Maria Troncatti, was declared Venerable by the Decree on November 8, 2008 and raised to the glory of the Blessed in Macas (Ecuador) on November 24, 2012 by the representative of the Pope, Cardinal Angelo Amato.