blank'/> SHARING CATHOLIC TRUTH: February 25 - Blessed Maria Adeodata Pisani --- Il-Beata Marija Adeodata Pisani

Monday, July 02, 2012

February 25 - Blessed Maria Adeodata Pisani --- Il-Beata Marija Adeodata Pisani

Adeodata Pisani - EWTN

Maria Adeodata Pisani O.S.B.
Maria Adeodata Pisani, O.S.B., was born in Naples on the 29th December 1806, the only daughter of Baron Benedetto Pisani Mompalao Cuzkeri and Vincenza Carrano. She was baptized on the same day in the Parish of St Mark at Pizzofalcone, and named Maria Teresa. Her father had the title of Baron of Frigenuini, one of the oldest and richest barony in Malta, whilst her mother was an Italian.
Unfortunately, her father took to drink and this soon led to marital problems, so much so that whilst Maria Teresa was still a small child her mother left the conjugal house and entrusted the child to her husband’s mother, Elisabeth Mamo Mompalao, who lived in Naples. The grandmother took good care of Maria Teresa, but when she died her grandchild was only 10 years of age. After her grandmother’s death, she was sent to a famous boarding school in Naples, known as the ‘Istituto di Madama Prota’, where the aristocratic ladies of the area used to get their education.

Maria Teresa stayed in this college till she was 17 years of age, and here she received her religious and social education. In the meantime, her father continued to create problems and in 1821, due to his involvement in the uprising in Naples, he was sentenced to death. Since he was a British citizen, his sentence was suspended and he was expelled from Naples and deported to Malta.

In 1825, Maria Teresa and her mother came to live in Malta. They settled in Rabat where her father was also living his dissolute life, but they never lived together with him. Although her mother had been trying to find a suitable man to get her married, Maria Teresa always declined such proposals. She preferred to lead a quiet life, going out to Church daily, and when the occasion presented itself to help the poor she met on the streets. The people who knew her started to comment about her pious behavior. She was never put off by her father’s behavior and whenever she met him she would ask for his blessing.

On one occasion, she was impressed by a sermon she heard at the ‘Ta’ Giezu’ church in Rabat. She went to pray in front of the picture of Our Lady of Good Counsel, in the Augustinian’s Church in Rabat, the church where she usually went for her daily mass and evening prayers. There for the first time she felt the calling to become a nun and dedicate her life to God in prayer.
Her parents immediately opposed her wish to become a nun, and her mother forced her to wait for a year before making any final decision. Maria Teresa waited obediently for a whole year, but her resolve did not change.

On the 16th July 1828, she joined the Benedictine Community in St Peter’s Monastery in Mdina. In choosing this kind of life, she had chosen a life of prayer, work, silence and obedience. After six months as a postulant, at the beginning of 1829  in a special ceremony of investiture as a novice took place, surrounded by her parents and relatives, and she changed her name to Maria Adeodata. During the one year she was a novice, she impressed not only her companions in the noviciate but also the nun who was in charge of the novices. This nun confessed that she never found any fault in Adeodata, and that instead of teaching her, she used to learn from her.

On the 4th March 1830, the required Notarial Act of Renouncement was performed, which was the last formal step required to be admitted as a nun. In this Act, she renounced to her titles and distributed the vast inheritance she had inherited from her paternal grandmother, keeping just enough for herself to be able to help others during her lifetime.

The solemn monastic profession took place on the 8th March 1830, and for the next 25 years she lived as a cloistered nun in St Peter’s monastery. During this period, not only the nuns in the monastery but many persons outside benefited from her acts of charity and her saintly life. She held various official responsibilities within the monastery, but the ones she treasured most were that of looking after the chapel, which gave her more time to be near the Blessed Sacrament and that of porter, which kept her close to the poor people who used to come daily to the monastery seeking help. For four years she was in charge of novices, and from 1851 to 1853 she was elected as Abbess. During the two years’ mandate she had to face difficulties from a few members of the community, since she tried to bring about some changes in community life in order to help the community live more in accordance with the Benedictine rule and monastic way of life. Some nuns were also jealous of her since so many people revered her for her saintly way of life.

She was renowned for her spirit of self-sacrifice and self-denial. The best she had, whether food or clothes, were always given to those in need, whilst she was happy to live on leftovers and worn out clothes. During her life in the monastery she also wrote various works, the most famous of which is “The mystical garden of the soul that loves Jesus and Mary”, which collects together personal spiritual reflections written in the form of a diary between 15th August 1835 and 3rd May 1843. She also wrote her reflections about spiritual direction, and a good number of prayers some of which were meant to be used in the community. Although her native language was Italian, she did her best to learn how to speak and write in Maltese, and she wrote some prayers in Maltese for common use in the Monastery. Throughout her life as a nun, she was a shining example to all in her observance of the Rule of St Benedict, obedience to her superiors, her acts of charity, her devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to the Blessed Virgin, and her total commitment to love God.

During the last two years of her life, heart trouble slowly eroded her health which was never all that good. Yet she continued to force herself to live a normal life within her community, always striving for perfection and leading others through her example.

On the 25th February 1855, at the age of 48, she realized that the end was near. Against her nurse’s advice, she dragged herself to the Chapel for the early morning conventual mass, and after receiving communion she had to be carried back to her bed, where she died soon afterwards surrounded by her community reciting prayers.

As soon as news of her death reached the people outside the monastery, the same phrase was repeated throughout Malta: “the Saint has died”. She had a simple funeral, and she was buried in the Monastery’s crypt the following day.

Many people claimed miraculous cures and other graces from God through Adeodata’s intercession. In 1892, the Canonical Process for her Beatification and Canonization was initiated. In 1897, the miracle which was later to be presented to the Congregation for Causes of Beatification and Canonization for official examination and eventual acceptance took place. This miracle happened in Subiaco in Italy, and it involved a Benedictine Abbess who was so sick that the last rites were administered to her, but after prayers through the intercession of Adeodata she got better and the doctors looking after her could not explain such a recovery.

Due to economic reasons, the Canonical Process for Adeodata’s Beatification was stopped in 1913, but in 1989, the Benedictine Community at St Peter’s Monastery presented a petition for the resumption of the Canonical Process for Adeodata’s Beatification and Canonization.

From the The Archdiocese of Malta - Public Relations Office
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Born 29 December 1806 at Naples, Italy; Died 25 February 1855 at the Benedictine monastery at Mdina, Malta

- Pope Leo XIII declared her Venerable on April 29, 1898

- Beatified: 9 May 2001 by Pope John Paul II.

Detail of beatification miracle: 24 November 1897 - the abbess Giuseppina Damiani from the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist Subiaco, Italy was suddenly healed of a stomach tumour following her request for Maria Pisani's intervention.


Blessed Adeodata Pisani

Sister Maria Adeodata Pisani, christened Maria Teresa, was born in Naples on December 29, 1806. Her father, Baron Benedict Pisani Mompalao, was Maltese, while her mother Vincenza Carrano was Neopolitan.
The birth of the child did not change the baron’s life. In fact the parents separated some time after.
For 10 years, the child received a sound upbringing and a good education while with her grandmother in Malta. However, when her grandmother died, Teresa was sent to Istituto di Madama Prota in Naples, until she was 17.
Maria Teresa and her mother were now living in Rabat with a relative. Teresa’s mother longed to see her daughter happily married. But Teresa’s vocation was to become a nun. Her prayers were answered while praying in front of the effigy of Our Lady of Good Counsel venerated at the Augustinian Church of St Mark in Rabat. There she was inspired to join the cloistered Benedictine monastery of St Peter in Mdina. She was 21 and was to be known as Sr Maria Adeodata.
She renounced her personal wealth, was generous with her mother and close relatives, helped those who wanted to become priests or nuns but lacked the necessary financial means, settled her father’s debts, made provisions for Masses to be said for the repose of her soul after her death, and set aside a substantial sum to be distributed among the poor. She left what remained of her fortune to the monastery which was to be her home for 25 years and kept the barest minimum for herself.
Sr Maria Adeodata loved God and helped others by prayer and through acts of love and charity. Part of her daily food was given to the poor. Although she inherited wealth and nobility, she refused any preferential treatment. She carried out the work assigned to her in an exemplary way.
She soon began showing symptoms of cardiac problems. Heart attacks were frequent. But, in spite of her weak health, she fulfilled all her duties with love.
On February 25, 1855, while sick in bed, Sr Adeodata went to the chapel to receive Holy Communion for the last time. She collapsed, was carried to her room where the last rites were administered. She died kissing the cross.
Those who knew Sr Adeodata regarded her as a saint. A strong devotion towards her soon developed and people were healed through her intercession.
The Maltese ecclesiastial authorities brought her case to the attention of Pope Leo XIII who declared her Venerable on April 29, 1898. Unfortunately, the process for her beatification was interrupted due to the fact that the nuns at St Peter’s Monastery could not send more money to the Postulator in Rome. Various other attempts were made to resume her cause for beatification, but they always failed.
In June 1988, the then Abbess of St Peter’s Monastery authorised Arthur Barbaro-Sant to be coordinator and promote the cause again. He worked very hard to re-enkindle devotion towards Sr Adeodata. With his great determination, help from a few others, and from God, devotion towards her spread again.
Meanwhile work was being done in Rome. There are hundreds of causes of saints pending at the Congregation and much depends on the work of the postulator, the interest shown by the actors of the cause (in this case the Benedictine nuns of St Peter’s monastery in Mdina) and also the bishop of the diocese.
On January 17, 1995, the positio supervirtutibus, was presented at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome and later, the positio of the miracle attributed to Sr Adeodata’s intercession. Finally, everything was ready and the cause was in the queue for eventual beatification.
On May 9, 2001 Pope John Paul II beatified Sr Adeodata Pisani, Dun Ġorġ Preca and Nazju Falzon on the Floriana Granaries and established that her feast be celebrated on February 25.
Finally, the wish of all Maltese was granted. But prayers have to continue through her intercession so that Our Lord in His great mercy hears the prayers she implores on our behalf and grants the miracle required for her canonisation.
It is very important that graces are reported to St Peter’s monastery from where one can get holy pictures of Blessed Adeodata for distribution.

From letter published in The Times of Malta on 25th October 2011

read also

Maria Adeodata Pisani Religieuse, Bienheureuse 1806-1855

SPB Parish Church  



25 ta' Frar
Festa tal-Beata Maria Adeodata Pisani 

Hija twieldet Napli fid-29 ta’ Dicembru 1806. Missierha kien moghti ghax-xorb u l-genituri taghha kellhom jinfirdu meta l-beata kienet tarbija, u hi trabbiet minn omm missierha, izda din mietet meta l-beata kellha ghaxar snin. Ta’ dsatax-il sena hi u ommha gew joqoghdu r-Rabat ta’ Malta. Ta’ 22 sena dahlet soru Benedittina fil-monasteru t

a’ San Pietru ta’ l-Imdina. Fl-1851 intghazlet bhala Badessa u fi zmienha mexxiet riforma fil-hajja komunitarja b’harsien aktar bir-reqqa tar-regola. Dak li setghet tiddisponi minnu qassmitu lill-foqra li kienu jhabbtu l-bieb tal-monasteru. Il-beata baqghet imsemmija ghall-ispirtu ta’ talb u sagrificcju. Mietet fil-25 ta’ Frar 1855 fil-ghomor ta’ 49 sena.

Imwielda l-Italja minn missier Malti, Swor Marija Adeodata Pisani giet Malta meta kellha dsatax-il sena u ghaddiet il-bicca l-kbira ta' hajjitha bhala xbieha mill-aqwa ta' konsagrazzjoni religjuza Benedittina fil-Monasteru ta' San Pietru. It-talb, l-ubbidjenza, is-servizz lejn hutha s-sorijiet u l-maturita' fil-qadi tad-dmirijiet taghha: dawn kienu jiffurmaw il-hajja qaddisa u fis-skiet ta' Marija Adeodata. Mohbija fil-qalba tal-Knisja, qaghdet f'riglejn il-Mulej tisma' t-taghlim tieghu (ara Luqa 10:39), filwaqt li daqet dak li jibqa' ghal dejjem (ara Kol. 3:2). Bit-talb, bix-xoghol u bl-imhabba, saret nixxiegha ta' dak il-frott spiritwali u missjunarju li minghajru l-Knisja ma tistax tippriedka l-Evangelju kif jamar Kristu, ghax il-missjoni u l-kontemplazzjoni ma jghaddux minghajr xulxin (ara Novo Millennio Ineunte 16).

"L-ezempju qaddis ta' Swor Adeodata zgur ghen biex igib 'il quddiem it-tigdid tal-hajja religjuza tal-Monasteru taghha. Nixtieq nirrikmanda ghall-intercessjoni taghha intenzjoni specjali tieghi. Dan l-ahhar sar hafna biex il-hajja religjuza tadatta ruhha ghac-cirkustanzi li qed jinbidlu fil-hajja ta' llum, u s-siwi ta' dan jidher fil-hajjiet ta' hafna nisa u rgiel religjuzi. Izda hemm bzonn tigdid ta' l-apprezzament tar-ragunijiet teologici profondi ghal din il-forma specjali ta' konsagrazzjoni. Ghadna qed nistennew il-frott shih tat-taghlim tal-Koncilju Vatikan II fuq il-valur traxxendentali ta' dik l-imhabba specjali ta' Alla u ta' l-ohrajn li twassal ghall-hajja tal-voti tal-faqar, kastita' u ubbidjenza. Nirrikmanda lill-irgiel u lin-nisa ta' hajja kkonsagrata l-ezempju ta' maturita' u ta' responsabbilta' personali li kienu jidhru b'mod tant sabih fil-hajja tal-Beata Adeodata."
Papa Gwanni Pawlu II

Dan l-artiklu meħud mil Webside tal-Museum ta' San Ġiljan Malta.