Saint of the Day – 17 May – Saint Giulia Salzano (1846-1929) Professed Religious Sister, Founder of the Catechetical Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1905), Teacher, Catechist. She is the Patron of the Order she founded.
Giulia Salzano was born in Santa Maria Capua Vetere in the province of Caserta on 13 October 1846, the daughter of Adelaide Valentino and Diego Salzano, a Captain in the Lancers of King Ferdinand II of Naples. Her father died when she was four and she was entrusted for her upbringing to the Sisters of Charity in the Royal Orphanage of Saint Nicola La Strada, where she remained until she was fifteen. She earned a teaching diploma and then taught in the local school at Casoria, in the Province of Naples, having moved there with her family in October 1865.
Alongside her teaching, she had a great interest in the catechism, imparting the faith to children, young people and adults She also encouraged devotion to the Virgin Mary.
Together with Blessed Caterina Volpicelli she promoted love of and devotion to the Sacred Heart, living the motto: “Ad maiorem Cordis Iesu gloriam” – “To the greater glory of the Sacred Heart.”
In her constant concern to make known the teachings and life of Jesus through education and witness, she founded the Congregation of the Catechetical Sisters of the Sacred Heart in 1905.
She devoted her life to the charism of catechesis, affirming: “While I have any life left in me, I will continue to teach the catechism. And then, I assure you, I would be very happy to die teaching the catechism”.
In the same way 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”.
Another Beatus, Ludovico da Casoria (1814–1885), in an almost prophetic style predicted: “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”. And so it was.
She died on 17 May 1929. The previous morning she had met with 100 children preparing for their First Communion. Her remains are housed in the motherhouse of the order in Casoria at Piazza Giovanni Pisa.
“Donna Giulietta”, as she was called by the people of Casoria, was so known for her holiness, that on 29 January 1937 the Cause for her Canonisation was introduced. On 25 January 1994 the Positio, a voluminous dossier on her life, virtues and reputation for sanctity, was consigned to the Congregation for the Causes for Saints. On 23 April 2002 Pope John Paul II ordered the publication of the Decree recognising the heroic nature of her virtues.
On 20 December of the same year Pope John Paul II signed the Decree recognising a miracle attributed to the intercession of Giulia Salzano, and declared her Blessed” …Vatican.va
She was Canonised by Pope Benedict XVI on 17 October 2010.
“In advance of her time, she was an apostle of the new evangelisation in which she combined apostolic activity with prayer, offered ceaselessly, especially for the conversion of the “indifferent”. This new Blessed, encourages us to persevere in faith and never to lose our confidence in God who does all things. Called to be the apostles of modern times, may believers also be inspired by Blessed Julia Salzano “to instil in many creatures the immense charity of Christ”. – St Pope John Paul II, from his homily during the beatification of Blessed Giulia