The feast day of Bl. Maria Teresa Fasco is celebrated on October 12.
Known as Marietta as a child, Bl. Maria Teresa was born on Dec. 27, 1881 in Torriglia, Italy. Her mother died when she was eight years old. Her older sister Luigia helped raise her. The family was not poor and she received a good education.
The parish Marietta attended was under the pastoral care of Augustinian Friars. She taught singing and was involved in religious education. Marietta studied the sprituality of St. Augustine and was drawn to it. When the Augustinian Nun St. Rita of Cascia was canonized in 1900 it made a great impression on her. She applied to the Augustinian monastery at Casci against her families wishes. She was denied entry because they felt she was used to the comforts of city living. They did not believe she would do well living a rural life. However, she applied a second time and was accepted.
Maria Teresa became disillusioned when younger nuns joined who had a lack of discipline. Tension in the monastery grew between the younger and older sisters. Maria Teresa left the community for a time in 1910. She returned in 1911 determined to reform the monastery. She began writing letters to supervisors explaining the situation. Their response was to make her the Director of Novices! In 1920 she was elected Abbess. She served as Abbess for 27 years. The monastery became a good example of the Augustinian way of life.
Sister Maria Teresa started an orphanage for girls and helped to build a larger church to receive pilgrims coming to learn about St. Rita. She referred to the orphans as her
“bees”. Sister Maria Teresa enjoyed teaching the orphans. Her newsletter called “From the Bees to the Roses” is still published today.
During World War II when Nazi troops forced their way into the monastery shw was not intimidated. They departed after speaking to her.
Sister Maria Teresa suffered from health problems. including painful breast cancer which required two surgeries. She also had asthma, diabetes, heart problems and poor circulation. She had difficult walking. She died peacefully on January 18, 1947 before the new basilica was completed.
“I am leaving this world with faith, hope and love! I hope to find you there…where Good reigns and where we will live forever!”
Sister Maria Teresa was beatified by St. John Paul II in 1997.
I love Him even if it costs much,
I love Him because it is worth much,
I love Him at all cost.
Quote of Bl. Maria Teresa Fasce
October is the Month of the Most Holy Rosary