Lady Juliet: A Prophet of the New Evangelization

Founder of Catechist Sisters to Be Canonized in October

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ROME, FEB. 24, 2010 ( A life dedicated to teaching the faith would be exacting, Giulia Salzano warned the nuns who joined her cause. But, she also affirmed, happiness would be to die teaching the catechism.

And «Donna Giulietta» (Lady Juliet), as she was known in Casoria, Naples, did just that. The day before her death at age 83, she tested more than 100 children preparing for their first Communion.

«While I have any life left in me, I will continue to teach the catechism,» she had once promised.

Blessed Giulia (1846-1929) can thus be considered a forerunner of the New Evangelization.

Giulia Salzano was born in Italy in 1846. Her father died when she was just 4 years old, so she was entrusted to the Sisters of Charity to raise her in their orphanage.

She stayed there until age 15, earning a teaching diploma. In 1865 she moved to Casoria to teach at the local school. Besides her dedication to the students, she also endeavored to catechize everyone she could: children, young mothers, soldiers, other adults.

Salzano promoted devotion to Our Lady and the Sacred Heart, and in 1905, founded the Catechetical Sisters of the Sacred Heart.

She exhorted her daughters: “The Sister Catechist must be ready, at every moment, to instruct the little ones and the uneducated. She must not count the sacrifices such a ministry demands, indeed she should desire to die while doing it, if this be God’s will.»

Blessed Ludovico da Casoria one day told her, «Take care not to be tempted to abandon the children of our dear Casoria, because it is God’s will that you should live and die among them.»

She did, in fact, die in Casoria in 1929, teaching until the end of her life.

Pope John Paul II beatified her in 2002. Blessed Giulia’s canonization will be Oct. 17.

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