Saint of the Day ~ December 2

Virgin and religious and missionary

Today, the Church honors Blessed Liduina Meneguzzi, a religious sister and missionary who became greatly renowned for her many corporal works of mercy during World War II.

Elisa Angela Meneguzzi was born on September 12, 1901, to a poor and humble farming family near Padua, Italy. Elisa manifested an ardently spiritual soul and spent hours in prayer, attended Mass every day and taught catechism. And in the evenings at home, she would pray with her family and was happy to speak about God to her brothers and sisters.

In 1926, willing to totally donate her life to God, she entered the Order of the Sisters of the Congregation of Saint Francis de Sales, taking the name Liduina. She began to work as a nurse in a girls’ boarding school before being sent to Ethiopia as a missionary in 1937.

With the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, she devotedly tended to the sick at a military hospital in Dire-Dawa in Ethiopia. When the city was bombed, she worked in the streets, carrying the wounded to shelters, baptizing dying children, leading dying Christians through acts of contrition and other acts of charity.

The inhabitants of the city were for the most part Muslim, and, through the saintly testimony of Sister Liduina, many were drawn to the Catholic faith.  For this reason, she was nicknamed the “ecumenical flame”.

She died of cancer on December 2, 1941 in the hospital of Dire-Dawa, where she spent her last years. A doctor who attended to her needs remarked, “I’ve never seen someone dying with such joy and bliss.” Twenty years after her death, her remains were returned to the motherhouse of her Order in Padua, Italy in 1961.

Sister Liduina Meneguzzi was beatified on October 20, 2002 by Pope Saint John Paul II.

We commemorate her feastday on December 2.

(From, and



(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for Holy Women ~ religious)

“Lord God, You kept Blessed Liduina faithful to Christ’s pattern of poverty and humility. May her prayers help us to live in fidelity to our calling and bring us to the perfection You have shown us in Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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