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Saint Paula Frassinetti


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Feast Day: June 11

Birth: March 3, 1809
Death: June 11, 1882
Saint Paula Frassinetti, also known as Paola Frassinetti, was born on 3 March 1809 in Genoa, Italy. She was the only daughter of John and Angela Frassinetti, and was raised in a devoutly Catholic family. Her parents instilled in her a strong faith and devotion to Mary, and all four of her brothers went on to become priests. Tragically, Paula's mother passed away when she was just nine years old. In her grief and need for a mother figure, Paula turned to Our Lady for comfort and guidance. Although an aunt moved in to help the family, she also passed away three years later. At the age of twelve, Paula took over as the homemaker, managing all the household chores and responsibilities. Despite not being able to attend school due to her obligations at home, Paula's brothers ensured she received an education. Each night they would pass along what they had learned during the day, and Paula's father filled in any gaps. Through these means, she managed to acquire a good education. Paula attended Mass daily and incorporated prayer into every aspect of her work. When Paula turned twenty, she developed respiratory problems and moved to Quinto, Italy to live with one of her brothers, who was a village priest. With her brother's assistance, she recovered and decided to dedicate herself to serving others. Together, they opened a parochial school for poor girls in the area. In 1834, Paula founded the Sisters of Saint Dorothy, also known as the Frassinetti Sisters. The congregation was comprised of like-minded young women who shared Paula's passion for educating and serving poor children. The Sisters of Saint Dorothy quickly gained recognition for their work, and they established foundations in Italy, Portugal, and Brazil. During the cholera epidemic that ravaged northern Italy in 1835, the Sisters of Saint Dorothy also played a vital role in caring for the sick. Their selfless dedication to serving those in need earned them admiration and respect from the local communities. In recognition of their commitment, the congregation received papal approval in 1863. Saint Paula Frassinetti's life of service, education, and charity came to an end when she passed away on 11 June 1882 from pneumonia following a series of strokes. She was entombed at Saint Onofria, the Dorothean motherhouse in Rome, Italy. In 1906, it was discovered that her body was incorrupt, a sign of her holiness. On 15 August 1928, Pope Pius XI declared Paula Frassinetti venerable, recognizing her heroic virtues. She was later beatified on 8 June 1930 by the same Pope. Finally, on 11 March 1984, Pope John Paul II canonized her as a saint, acknowledging her profound impact and holiness. Saint Paula Frassinetti is venerated as the patron saint of sick people due to her compassionate care for the ill during the cholera epidemic. Her life serves as an inspiration for all, reminding us of the importance of education, selflessness, and devotion to God in serving others.