The influence of our great Carmelite saints extends far and wide and is to be found in the lives of all kinds of individuals in all walks of life. I was reminded of this in reading about the saint of today - the Italian St Maria Bertilla Boscardin (1888-1922), who practised the 'Little Way' of our St Therese of Lisieux in her life. The daughter of a man who was - by his own admission - a violent alcoholic, she became a nun in Vicenza in 1904. Poorly educated and thought by some to be rather backward, she devoted herself to nursing. Her courage and love for her patients were particularly noted when the hospital came under bombing raids in 1915. She died of a tumor in her thirties. Her outlook exemplifies the power of Therese's teaching and example, for her acceptance of her littleness in the eyes of the world led her to rely wholly on God.
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