Feast Day: June 11
Canonized: March 11, 1984
Beatified: June 8, 1930
Venerated: August 15, 1928
Paula Frassinetti led a happy life in Genoa, Italy, until she was 9. That was when her mother died, in 1818, leaving Paula to care for her father and four brothers and their household. At this young age, she made many sacrifices to give attention to her family.
Her older brother, Giuseppi, went on to study for the priesthood — as did all of her brothers — and his discussions with Paula about God and faith led her to believe she might have a vocation. But her father could not imagine how the family would manage without her, and she was forced to put her dreams aside.
Finally, when she was 19, Paula was exhausted from having so much responsibility. She went to stay with her Father Giuseppi for a brief vacation, and during that time, she came to know the youth of his parish. They would take nature walks or go to the ocean, and Paula would talk about faith.
She soon came to realize that she had talent as a teacher, and the idea for a new religious community took hold in her mind. In 1934, she and six other young women began to live in community, working at night to make money and educating very poor children by day. Her goal was to bring young people to God through education.
The group became known as the Sisters of St. Dorothy. Eventually, they opened more houses, including one in Rome. Poverty and sickness were always with the Sisters, who often did not even have enough money to buy medicine for themselves. But Paula was determined and knew that God was always with her. In 1866 she sent Sisters to Brazil and Portugal to open more schools.
Sister Paula Frassinetti died in 1882, but her legacy was a wide one. Today her Sisters teach in Europe, North America, Africa, Latin America and Asia. Pope John Paul II canonized her in 1984.
Connecting to Be My Disciples®
Grade 2, chapter 22