Sagheddu, Maria Gabriella, Bl.

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Also called Maria Gabriella of Unity; Trappistine nun; b. Mar. 17, 1914, Dorgali, Sardinia, Italy; d. Apr. 23, 1939, in Grottaferrata, Frascati. After the death of her sister, Maria Gabriella became a young woman of prayer and charity, enrolling in Catholic Action, teaching catechism, and tending the aged. At 21, she entered the monastery of Grottaferrata, then headed by Mother Pia Gullini. After her profession (1937) her life was marked by gratitude for her calling to religious life and a desire to submit completely to God's will. When the community was asked to pray for Christian unity, Maria Gabriella immediately undertook the task and offered her life as an oblation. After three and one-half years of religious life, she died with tuberculosis. Her body rests in the monastery chapel of Vitorchiano (Viterbo), to which the community of Grottaferrata was transferred. The beatification of Sister Maria Gabriella by John Paul II on June 25, 1983 ended the Week of Prayers for Christian unity (1983) and was attended by representatives of the Anglican, Lutheran, and Orthodox churches.

Feast: April 22.

Bibliography: L'Osservatore Romano, English ed. 5 (1983): 56. p. cusack, Blessed Gabriella of Unity: A Patron for the Ecumenical Movement (Portland, OR 1995). m. driscoll, A Silent Herald of Unity (Kalamazoo, MI 1990). m. kervingant, Le monachisme, lieu oecuménique (Paris 1983). b. martelet, La petite soeur de l'Unité (Paris 1984). p. b. quattrocchi, A Life for Unity: Sr. Maria Gabriella, tr. m. jeremiah (Brooklyn, NY 1990).

[k. i. rabenstein]