St. Liduina Meneguzzi

Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 12/02

2 December
Born to a poor farm family. Noted as a child for her piety, attending daily Mass, praying often, teaching catechism as soon as she was old enough, and considering the religious life. At age 14 she began working as a servant to local wealthy families, and in the hotels around the hot springs of Abano. On 5 March 1926 she answered the call to religious life and joined the Sisters of the Congregation of Saint Francis de Sales.

She worked for years at the Santa Croce boarding school as housekeeper, sacristan, nurse and big sister to the girls. In 1937 she was finally allowed to enter the mission fields, working at Dire-Dawa, Ethiopia, a cosmopolitan, crossroads city with people of many backgrounds, races and religions including Catholics, Copts, Muslims and native pagans. Liduina worked as a nurse in the Parini Civil Hospital first with civilian patients, and after the outbreak of World War II, with injured soldiers. When the city was bombed she worked in the streets, carrying the wounded to shelter, baptizing dying children, leading dying Christians through acts of contrition.

Her work with the Ethiopians, black and white, Christian, Muslim and neither, gave her the chance to speak to them all about the faith. She would tell any who would listen about the goodness of God the Father; her example led many to ask, and her ecumenism anticipated the later work of Vatican II.
12 September 1901 as Elisa Angela Meneguzzi in Giarre, Padova, Italy
2 December 1941 of cancer in Dire-Dawa, Ethiopia; at the insistence of the injured soldiers who loved her, she was buried in the military graveyard at Dire-Dawa; relics translated to the motherhouse of the Sisters of the Congregation of Saint Francis de Sales in Padova, Italy in July 1961

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All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.


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