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Saint Agostina, originally known as Olivia Pietrantoni, was born and baptized in Italy and from an early age, worked in fields and tended animals. She believed she had a vocation to religious life and always said that, “I wish to choose a Congregation in which there is work both day and night.” But in Rome, she was turned away.

A few months later, the Mother General of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne-Antide Thouret invited her to Rome and after postulancy and the novitiate, she received the name “Saint Agostina” and at had a premonition that she would indeed become a saint by that name.

Sister Agostina was sent to Holy Spirit Hospital, where the religious were treated badly and the nuns were forbidden to speak of God. Sister Agostina contracted tuberculosis while working in the tuberculosis ward, but was miraculously healed. She found a private corner of the hospital to pray for all the patients, including Joseph Romanelli, an adult male patient who harassed her with continuous threats.

Even after being expelled from the hospital, Romanelli continued threatening her and saying that he would kill her. On November 13, 1894, Joseph Romanelli attacked Sister Agostina and killed her. Even in her last breath, she kept saying that she had forgiven everything and prayed to Mother Mary for grace and mercy. Her final words were, “Mother of mine, help me“. Saint Agostina is the Patron Saint of abuse victims, martyrs, people in poverty, people ridiculed for their piety and nurses.


Everyday of my life belongs to You, O my God and every action of my life should be performed with the pure intention of honouring You alone. From this moment, I offer them to Your Sacred Heart and by this offering, I consecrate them without reserve to Your glory. What a motive for performing all my actions with all possible perfection, like Saint Agostina.

Do not permit them, O my Divine Saviour, to be sullied by any motives unworthy of Your Sacred Heart. I renounce all that could lessen the merit of my offering. I renounce all vanity, self-love and human respect. Grant, O my God, that I may commence, continue and end this day in Your grace and solely from the pure motive of pleasing and honouring You. Amen

Saint Agostina, intercede for us.


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