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Monthly Reflection by
Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

"We are being changed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another"

(2 Cor 3:18

)

- Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

Prayer of the Month

Saint Rose Venerini


Saint Rose Venerini
Feast Day - May 7

Saint Rose Venerini was a pioneer in the education of women and girls in 17th-century Italy and the foundress of the Religious Teachers Venerini (Italian: Maestre Pie Venerini), a Roman Catholic religious institute of women, often simply called the Venerini Sisters.

Rose was born at Viterbo in 1656, the daughter of Godfrey Venerini, a physician.

According to her first biographer, Father Girolamo Andreucci, S.J., Venerini made a vow to consecrate her life to God at the age of seven. At age twenty, though, Rosa had questions about her own future and chose to accept an offer of marriage; her fiancé, however, died shortly after this.

Upon the death of a young man who had been paying court to her, she entered a convent, but after a few months had to return home to look after her widowed mother. Rose use to gather the women and girls of the neighbourhood to say the rosary together in the evenings, and when she found how ignorant many of them were of their religion, she began to instruct them.

The initial stages were not easy. The three teachers had to face the resistance of clergy who considered the teaching of the catechism as their private office. But the harshest suspicion came from conformists who were scandalised by the boldness of this woman of the upper middle class of Viterbo, who had taken to heart the education of ignorant girls.

Rose faced everything for the love of God and with her characteristic strength, continuing on the path that she had undertaken, by now sure that she was truly following the plan of God. The fruits proved her to be right. The same pastors recognised the moral improvement that the work of education generated among the girls and their mothers.

She was directed by Father Ignatius Martinelli, a Jesuit, who convinced her that her vocation was as a teacher "in the world" rather than as a contemplative in a convent; whereupon in 1685, with two helpers, Rose opened a preschool for girls in Viterbo: it soon became a success. Blessed Rose had the gift of ready and persuasive speech, and a real ability to teach and to teach others to teach, and was not daunted by any difficulty when the service of God was in question.

Her reputation spread, and in 1692, she was invited by Cardinal Barbarigo to advise and help in the training of teachers and organising of schools in his diocese of Montefiascone.

Here she was the mentor and friend of Lucy Filippini, who became foundress of an institute of maestre pie and was canonised in 1930. Rose organised a number of schools in various places, sometimes in the face of opposition that resorted to force in unbelievable fashion - the teachers were shot at with bows and their house fired. Her patience and trust overcame all obstacles, and in 1713 she made a foundation in Rome that received the praise of Pope Clement XI himself.

It was in Rome that she died, on May 7, 1728. By then, she had opened more than 40 schools. Her remains were entombed in the nearby Jesuit Church of the Gesù, so loved by her.

Her reputation of holiness was confirmed by miracles and in 1952, she was beatified. It was not until sometime after her death that Blessed Rose's lay school teachers were organised as a religious congregation: they are found in America as well as in Italy, for the Venerini Sisters have worked among Italian immigrants since early in the twentieth century.

 
Divine Updates

MAGNIFICAT in Chennai

Divine comes to Chennai with the 'Magnificat', on November 16, 2019. Fr Augustine Vallooran will lead the services. With special sessions for children.

Venue: Stella Maris College, Cathedral Road

MAGNIFICAT in Bangalore

Celebrate an evening with our Lord in Bangalore, at the 'Magnificat' on November 9, 2019. Services to be led by Fr Jacob Arimpur. All are welcome.

Venue: St. Joseph's Boys' School Chapel, Museum Road, Bangalore

Retreats in Divine Retreat Centre, UK

Divine Retreat Centre, Ramsgate UK, is holding several English and Malayalam language retreats - led by Fr. George Panackal VC and Fr. Joseph Edattu VC. All are welcome.

Dates: Jan - Dec, 2019

Inner Healing Retreat for Priests & Religious

Divine Retreat Centre is organising a retreat for priests and religious - to be held in November, 2019. Please spread the word. Prior registration is not required.

Date: Nov 24 - 29, 2019

Hindi Convention Ojas 2020

The Divine Retreat Centre will conduct our 10th annual Hindi convention, in 2020. Two retreats will be held simultaneously on the campus; one for adults and another for couples and youth. All are welcome.

Date: May 31 - June 5, 2020

Retreats at the Divine Retreat Centre, Sydney

Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby to hold retreats throughout 2019. For bookings, email Fr Roni George, Director - drcretreatrego@gmail.com or drcsydney@gmail.com. Hurry, as admission is limited.

Date: January 2019 - December, 2019

Divine Retreat Schedules

ENGLISH RETREATS

English retreats are held every week from Sunday to Friday. Special retreats are conducted for priests, religious and laity as well. Come and experience the Lord and grow in Him.

MALAYALAM RETREATS

Inner healing retreats, growth retreats, couples' retreats and youth retreats in Malayalam, are led by Vincentian priests.

OTHER LANGUAGES

Retreats in Konkani, Kannada, Tamil, Hindi and Telugu

Every week, retreats are held in five different regional languages of India, apart from in the local language - Malayalam. The retreats are led by Vincentian priests and supported by powerfully anointed laity of God.

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