Renzi, Elisabetta, Bl.

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Foundress of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows (Istituto Maestre Pie dell'Addolorata ); b. Nov. 19, 1786, Saludecio (near Rimini), Italy; d. Aug. 14, 1859, Coriano, Italy. Elisabetta's wealthy, noble parents sent her to the Poor Clare monastery at Pietrarubbia for her education. Upon completing her studies, she entered the same convent with their permission (1807). Renzi and her sisters were exclaustrated when the monasteries were suppressed by Napoleon before she could make her vows. From that time until 1824, Elisabetta engaged in charitable activities while living at home. Recognizing the need to provide youth with a Christian education in a society increasingly hostile to religion, she began teaching at a school for girls in Coriano near Rimini (April 1824). When Saint Maddalena canossa declined to assume responsibility for the school and suggested that Elisabetta was the better candidate, Renzi gathered a group of women to undertake the task (1828). The association eventually became a religious congregation, approved by the Holy See, Dec. 10, 1839, dedicated to education and care of the neglected in the villages of Romagna. Elisabetta, who was declared venerable in 1988 and beatified by John Paul II, June 18, 1989, is buried in the chapel of the mother house at Coriano.

Bibliography: Acta Apostolicae Sedis (1989): 764. L'Osservatore Romano, English ed. July 10, 1989, 4.

[k. i. rabenstein]