Blessed Maria Fortunata Viti

Blessed Maria Fortunata Viti (1827–1922) was born in Italy, the eldest daughter of nine children. Her father had a gambling and alcohol addiction, and her mother died when she was 14 years old. Maria then cared for her younger siblings and worked as a housekeeper to earn money for the family as her father sunk deeper into his addiction. Maria rejected an offer for marriage, deciding instead to become a Benedictine nun at the age of 24. Sr. Maria Fortunata, illiterate her entire life, spent more than seventy years in the monastery as a housekeeper attending to the washing, sewing, and other simple tasks, which was her path to holiness. She was admired for her great simplicity of heart, and her confessor testified that she was often accosted by the devil with threats, physical attacks, and vile insults in attempts to break her virtue. She had great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and made frequent visits to the chapel tabernacle as she carried out her daily tasks. She died at the age of 95, and after her death miracles were reported at her grave. She is a patron saint against poverty, temptations, loss of parents, and mental illness. Her feast day is November 20th.
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