Saint of the Day – 14 January – Blessed Alfonsa Clerici SPS (1860-1930) Virgin, Religious of the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood of Monza – an order that Venerable Maria Matilde Bucchi founded. Alfonsa served as an Teacher and a apostle of the education of the poor while serving in leadership positions to that effect.
Alfonsa Clerici was born on 14 February 1860 near Milan, the eldest of ten children to Angelo and Maria Romano Clerici, four of whom died in infancy. She was baptised on 15 February in the church of San Vittore Martire and received her entrance into the faith from Father Francesco Spreafico.
Two of her brothers, Ildefonso and Prospero, joined the Clerics Regular of St Paul, while her sister, Bonaventura became a professed member of the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood in Monza. On 6 October 1868, at the age of eight, Alfonsa received Confirmation in the church of Saint Stephen and her First Communion was celebrated sometime between 1870 and 1872.
In 1875 Alfonsa enrolled at the College of the Precious Blood in Monza. She graduated in 1879 and went on to teach in the Lainate community school for four years. Alfonsa felt a strong desire to enter the religious life but decided to postpone her plans, since she still had to support her parents and her siblings. She pursued her call not long after and joined the Monza sisters on 15 August 1883, the Feast of the Assumption. Their apostolate is the education of young people. Alfonsa received the habit and commenced her period of novitiate in August 1884 while making her first vows on 7 September 1886, a few weeks prior to this her sister made her solemn profession into the congregation.
Alfonsa served as a teacher at the Monza sisters’ college from 1887 to 1889 and was made vice-director on 18 October 1898. The following month she was appointed director. She also served as secretary and general adviser to her Institute.
In 1911, Bishop Teodoro Valfré di Bonzo asked Alfonsa to take over management of the lead the House of Providence established in Vercelli in 1840 for the education of the girls and daughters of poor families. Alfonsa relocated to Vercelli on 20 November 1911 and would remain there for the next nineteen years.
Mother Alfonsa suffered a cerebral haemorrhage on the night of 12–13 January 1930 while in prayer and fell face down on the ground. She died at 13:30 on 14 January 1930, one month short of her seventieth birthday. She was buried in Vercelli after a 16 January funeral but was re-interred in Monza on 8 May 1965.
The miracle needed for her Beatification involved the healing of the near-fatal heart condition of Nedo Frosin,i after his wife Carla Demi Frosini turned to the intercession of the late religious. With the recognition of the miracle on 1 July 2010, Pope Benedict XVI approved the Beatification to take place. Archbishop Angelo Amato, Pro-Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided over the Beatification on the Pope’s behalf on 23 October 2010, in the Piazza of San Eusebio, Diocese of Vercelli, Italy.