Barbantini, María Domenica Brun, Bl.
BARBANTINI, MARÍA DOMENICA BRUN, BL.
Foundress of the Pious Union of the Sisters of Charity and the Sister Servants of the Sick of St. Camillus; b. Lucca, Tuscany, Italy, Jan. 17, 1789; d. Lucca, May 22, 1868. Maria Domenica's husband, Salvatore Barbantini, died six months after they were married in 1811, and a short time later she gave birth to a son. A woman of boundless energy, she balanced motherhood and running her deceased husband's business while caring for those in need. Her own dedication and example attracted other women to the same work, and together they formed the Pious Union of the Sisters of Charity (1817). Following the death of her eight-year-old son, she abandoned herself completely to God. She lived for a time with the Sisters of the Visitation as she tested a contemplative vocation. Fr. Antonio Scalabrini, later superior general of the Order of St. Camillus, encouraged her to found the Sister Servants of the Sick of St. Camillus (1829). The archbishop of Lucca's approved of the rule in 1841 and authorized the organization as a diocesan religious institute. Pope John Paul II beatified Maria Domenica on May 7, 1995.
Bibliography: Acta Apostolicae Sedis (1995): 564. L'Osservatore Romano, English edition, no. 19 (1995): 2, 4.
[k. i. rabenstein]