Friday, December 21, 2007

Pope Benedict on Nennolina


The insightful, blogging monk Don Marco has more on this extraordinary child's piety. I want to make her the patron of our 1st Holy Communion class. The good Father quotes the Pope on this child.
It pleased me that, a moment ago, you quoted a little girl, Antonia Meo, called Nennolina. Just three days ago I decreed the recognition of her heroic virtues and I hope that her cause of beatification may be brought quickly to a happy conclusion. What a luminous example has this little member of yours left us! (Note: Nennolina was enrolled in the "Benjamins" section of the Italian Catholic Action Movement.)

Nennolia, a child of Rome, in her very short life — only six and a half years —demonstrated a faith, a hope, a special charity, and other Christian virtues as well. Though she was a frail little girl, she succeeded in giving a strong and robust witness to the Gospel and has left a deep impression in the diocesan community of Rome. Nennolina belonged the Catholic Action Movement; today she would certainly be inscribed in the A.C.R. (Childrens' Catholic Action)!

For all of you can consider her your friend, a model to inspire you. Her existence, so simple and, at the same time, so important, demonstrates that holiness is for every age; for little children and young people, for adults and for the elderly. Every season of our existence can be good for us to decide seriously to love Jesus and to follow Him faithfully. In a few years, Nennolina reached the summit of Christian perfection that we are, all of us, called to ascend, she ran quickly the "highway" that leads to Jesus. And so, as you yourselves recalled, Jesus is the true "way" who leads us to the Father and to our permanent home, which is Paradise. You know that Antonia now lives in God, and from heaven, she is close to you; you sense that she is present with you, in your groups. Learn to know her and follow her examples. I think that she also will be happy about this: to be involved still in Catholic Action.

He also sums up my thoughts on celebrating Mass ad orientem, check out his blog.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

With the best will in the world, this poor child is, at the age of six, more the product of her parents than of herself. While having inherent characteristics, she was clearly swamped in her mother's excessive piety, as the embarrassing photograph witnesses. Do we need another patron saint of children's Communions when St Pius X gave us St Imelda Lambertini? How many remember her? Her body lies in Bologna and looks like a wax work dressed as the tree fairy. The room at Santa Croce given over to this child's cause is one of the creepiest places in Rome.

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

My little Jacinta is preparing for First Holy Communion so i will tell her about this lovely little girl.

As a mom of 10 let me tell you a 6 year old is capable of making their own mind up!

Elizabeth said...

Doesn't the Church teach that baptised children who die under the age of seven automatically become saints?

But I think it's wonderful for a small child to be beatified - perfect example for our children.

Fr Ray Blake said...

"Doesn't the Church teach that baptised children who die under the age of seven automatically become saints?"

I think that the Church teaches, all who are baptised and die without sin. We have traditionally understood 7 as being the age of reason.

The difference is they are not a "hereoic example".

Father Mark said...

Dear Father, Thank you for the kind references to Vultus Christi.

As for Nennolina. I had the privilege of meet her older sister, Dr. Margherita, still living in Rome. We had a lovely visit in the very flat where Nennolina grew up. Yes, Nennolina's parents were very pious and devout. Her heroic virtue was, nonetheless, the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the heart of a little girl who chose to say "Yes" to Crucified Love.

Nennolina has appeared to several children afflicted by illness to comfort them and encourage them. The reports of these apparitions have been carefully investigated and everything would indicate that they are credible. Every day the office at Santa Croce receives accounts of her interventions in the lives of the sick and the poor, and, especially, in the lives of children.

The room at Santa Croce dedicated to Nennolina contains photographs and texts relative to her life, some of her notebooks, toys, and clothing. The pilgrims who visit it often go away comforted and inspired.

Nennolina takes her place alongside other little girls to whom the Heavenly Father was pleased to reveal the mysteries of the Kingdom: Saint Imelda, Blessed Jacinta of Fatima, Little Nell of Holy God, and Anne de Guigné. And why not?

Eva said...

The picture of her First Holy Communion is BEAUTIFUL.
We need more kids like Nennolina.
We need more, more saints. We are all called to be saints, like her.
Bennolina, pray for us, especially for our children.

Nicoleta said...

For me, Nennolina's Chapel in Santa Croce in Gerusalemme was the most special place in Rome. I spent 3 months in Rome and I prayed in that place as often as I could. After passing hard moments in the last 3 years, I have found there my peace and my joy of praying. So, from that moment Nennolina is the Saint of my heart and I thank Her every day for the help She gives me.

Nicoleta said...

For me, Nennolina's Chapel in Santa Croce in Gerusalemme was the most special place in Rome. I spent 3 months in Rome and I prayed in that place as often as I could. After passing hard moments in the last 3 years, I have found there my peace and my joy of praying. So, from that moment Nennolina is the Saint of my heart and I thank Her every day for the help She gives me.