The spread of the charism of charity

by | Nov 8, 2013 | Vincentian Family

Agostina PietrantoniPersecution led a former Daughter of Charity on the path to sanctity and who in turn inspired others to sanctity.

From St. Jeanne Antide Thouret to St. Agostina Pietrantoni whose story VinFormation presents.

When the Daughters of Charity were disbanded during the French revolution one of their number had memorized the rule. She founded a community in that spirit and went on to become a saint.

November 13 we celebrate the feast of St. Agostina Pietrantoni.

She was a member of the Sisters of Charity of St. Joan Antida, an international community founded on April 11, 1799 by Jeanne Antide Thouret.

At the age of 22 and after seeing a vision of hands reaching out to her through a cloister grille, Jeanne Antide decided to join a community that combined prayer, community living, and ministry to the poor. They were called the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.  During the French Revolution, all of the Sisters were disbanded and sent back to their hometowns. Jeanne Antide joined other groups of religious but none of them met her needs. She was invited back to Besancon to begin work among the people of her diocese. She agreed, and on April 11th opened a free school for the education of girls. She also visited the sick and opened a soup kitchen to feed the poor. This legacy continues to this day as we continue to respond to the cries of the poor.

In 1932 the Sisters of Charity of St. Joan Antida came to the United States where they ministered to the Italian immigrants in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the height of the depression. After celebrating their 200th Anniversary in 1999, they still continue to branch out across 26 countries following our mandate to go wherever we are needed.

This community is among those listed in Sr. Betty Ann McNeil’s groundbreaking study of the Vincentian Family Tree.

 

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