Bartolomaea Capitanio


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Saint Vincent de Paul (1581—1660) French priest


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co-foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Lovere (Lombardy). She was born there, the daughter of a corn merchant, took a private vow of chastity, became a teacher and devoted herself in an ascetical personal regime to the apostolate of youth. Seeing the need to make her work permanent, she associated herself from 1829 onwards with the older Catherine of Alexandria, who was specially interested in nursing. Together they founded a congregation dedicated both to teaching and nursing, for which the rule of the Sisters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul was adapted. Political realities prevented them from being ruled from outside Austria and they were independent from the start. The Sisters received papal approval in 1840.

In character Bartolomaea was simple, tactful, and strong: she influenced many people by her conversation, teaching, and writings, which include 300 letters. She died of consumption at the age of twenty-six. She was canonized in 1950. Feast: 26 July.

Lives by L. I. Mazza (2 vols. 1905), C. Carminati (1934), and A. Stocchetti (1950), also E. Belgari, Il profilo di una maesta santa (1951);see also B.L.S., vii. 213–14;Bibl. SS., ii. 849–52.

Subjects: Christianity.

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