Petrilli, Savina, Bl.

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Foundress of the Sisters of the Poor of Saint Catherine of Siena; b. Aug. 29, 1851, Siena, Italy; d. there April 18, 1923. At the age of ten, Savina was introduced to and inspired by the life of Saint catherine of siena and the saint's eucharistic devotion. Her family, the parish Children of Mary Sodality, and her pastor all nourished her spirituality and encouraged her generosity toward the poor. During an audience with Pope Pius IX (1869), she was told to follow Saint Catherine. In 1873, she requested permission from the archbishop of Siena to found a religious order. He instructed her to draw up the Rule. With three friends Savina founded (1874) a small group to care for the poor, beginning in a small apartment with an abandoned baby. Mother Savina continued working with the Sisters of the Poor of Saint Catherine of Siena, approved by the Holy See in 1875, until her death from cancer. The order spread to India, Italy, the Philippines, and Latin America. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 24, 1988.

Feast: April 18.

Bibliography: Acta Apostolicae Sedis (1988): 583. L'Osservatore Romano, English edition, no. 16 (1988): 12.

[k. i. rabenstein]