Blessed Savina Petrilli

1851 – 1923

Blessed Savina Petrilli (1851-1923), Italian foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Poor of St. Catherine of Siena.

Born in Siena, Italy, this foundress had a lifelong devotion to St. Catherine of Siena. As a young member of a Marian sodality, she taught catechism to street children and gradually felt called to serve abandoned children and the poor. At 22, she began the work of establishing the Congregation of the Sisters of the Poor of St. Catherine of Siena, which received papal approval in 1877. Somewhat impulsive and impatient, Savina made a special vow never to deliberately refuse God anything. She counseled her sisters, “Whoever looks at us must see Jesus in us.” She died of cancer and was beatified in 1988. Her congregation serves today in Italy, South America, Asia and the United States.

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