Boscardin, Maria Bertilla, St.
BOSCARDIN, MARIA BERTILLA, ST.
Nursing sister; b. Brendola, near Vicenza, Italy, Oct. 6, 1888; d. Treviso, Italy, Oct. 20, 1922. Baptized Anna Francesca, as a young girl she was pious, obedient, and quiet. She suffered because of her father's excessive drinking. At school, where she was diligent but slow to learn, she was derisively called "the goose." In 1901 she took a private vow of virginity, and in 1905 she joined the dorotheans at Vicenza. While a novice, she was sent to the local hospital in Treviso to work as a kitchen maid. When she made her religious profession (1907), she took the name Maria Bertilla. Returning to the hospital at Treviso, she cared for children stricken by diphtheria. Outwardly her life was not out of the ordinary. During the bombardment of Treviso after the collapse of the Italian troops at Caporetto (1917), however, her courage sustained the wounded soldiers. The advance of the German troops forced the transfer of the hospital to Viggiù, near Como, but after the armistice she returned to Treviso. She was beatified on June 8, 1952, and canonized May 11, 1961.
Feast: Oct. 20 (formerly Oct. 22).
Bibliography: Acta Apostolicae Sedis 44 (1952) 522–527; 53(1961) 289–295. l. caliaro, La Beata M. B. B. (Vicenza 1952). e. federici, Santa M. B. (Vicenza 1959). l. x. aubin, Ste. Marie Bertilla (Montreal 1963). c. de vito, The Cinderella of the Gospel (Bombay n.d.) a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 4:161–162.
[f. g. sottocornola]