Blessed Rose Venerini
Blessed Rose was born in Viterbo, Italy, in 1656. Her father was a physician. Rose entered the convent but returned home after a few months. Her father had died and she felt the responsibility for taking care of her widowed mother.
Rose, who was to remain single, recognized her own leadership qualities. She gathered the young women in her neighborhood. They prayed the Rosary together in the evenings. As they all got to know each other, Rose became aware of how little the young people knew about their faith. Rose and two helpers opened a free school for girls in 1685. The parents who sent their daughters there were very pleased with the quality of education and the atmosphere.
Rose was a gifted educator. Above all, she was able to teach others to teach. In 1692, Cardinal Barbarigo invited Rose to his diocese. He wanted her to organize his schools and train his teachers. It was in his diocese that she became a friend and teacher of a future saint. That person was St. Lucy Filippini who started a religious order. Sister Lucy was proclaimed a saint in 1930.
Rose organized schools in various places. Some people resented her work and harassed her and her teachers. But the teachers held on to their belief in the value of education. Rose even opened a school in Rome in 1713. Pope Clement XI congratulated Rose for starting such a wonderful school.
This dedicated teacher died in Rome on May 7, 1728, at the age of seventy-two. After her death, Blessed Rose's lay teachers became religious sisters. The Venerini sisters continue to perform their teaching ministry the way Blessed Rose would. Rose Venerini was declared "blessed" by Pope Pius XII in 1952.
In our prayer today, we might want to remember all teachers that they may provide an example of service and dedication to their students.