The saint for April 08
Blessed Maria Assunta
Local Only
Franciscan Missionaries of Mary--FMM

Born August 20, 1879 at Force, Italy
Given Name: Maria Assunta Pallotta
Died April 7, 1905 at Tong-Eul-Keou, China
Beatified November, 1954

Maria Assunta was the oldest of five children, by nature serious, mature and devout. Often after Mass or chores she could be found alone in the Church, praying before the Blessed Sacrament. She felt an early calling to the religious life, but she had many duties at home and no means, because her family was poor. However, God always provides a way. A priest visiting the village became very impressed with Maria's vervor and desire for religious life and sponsored her to the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in Rome.

She showed herself to be most humble in service. She had received but little education at home, owing to family circumstances, and so was just able to read and write. She cheerfully accepted the humblest of tasks with no murmur or complaint. She frequently asked to be able to perform extra penances, which request was usually denied; but that did not stop her from asking. In 1904 she asked her Mother Superior to be allowed to go the leper colony in China, when such an opportunity arose. Her request was granted later that same year.

Maria Assunta joyfully set sail for China, where just four short years earlier, seven of her sisters were martyred by beheading. Maria Assunta's cross, however, was to take a different appearance. In March of 1905 a typhus epidemic broke out in the orphanage where she was assigned. Three of the newly arrived sisters fell ill with the disease. Maria Assunta was one of these. It appeared that she was beginning to get better, but she asked for the Last Rites and said that she would soon die. One of her sisters was very ill and near death; Maria Assunta had prayed to be allowed to die in her place. . On April 7th, her prayer was answered, and she entered into Eternal Life.

A beautiful odor of flowers was noticed at her bedside, which grew quite strong and permeated the entire orphanage for three days. When her body was exhumed in 1913, it was intact, although her robe was disintigrating. Her cause was opened in Rome in 1924, and in 1954, she was beatified.

Her words: "I came to the convent to become a Saint: to what purpose would I live a long time if I did not attain my goal? I will therefore not pass up anything profitable for my soul, though the whole world be given me in exchange."

Pray to Blessed Mary Assunta for Humility and Singlehearted Devotion
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