|Antonimina (RC) - Italy
||Palermo - Italy
|3 may 1951
||4 January 1974.
Biografical outline and spirituality of
the Servant of God Rosella Stàltari
It is a great joy for me to be able to share with you a
brief reflection on the life and the spirituality of the Servant
of God Rosella Stàltari, a young girl of our own time, who died
in 1974 at the age of about 23 and whose process for
beatification has been introduced two years ago.
The historical journey of Rosella Stàltari began in 1951 in
Calabria, one of the poorest regions of Southern Italy.
The poverty of her family worsened that same year when the
Region was hit by heavy flooding, but it was above all the
sudden death of Rosella's mother that left a deep mark on her
family’s life and above all on her own life. Because of the
poverty of her family, at the tender age of two years and seven
months Rosella was confined to a Government Orphanage, where she
had a hard life and suffered very much from lack of loving care
and tenderness. Often she experienced hunger and was obliged to
do heavy work unfit for a young child.
The life in that Orphanage was really a cross for Rosella, but a
cross that she was able to carry by her profound love for Jesus
and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
When she was fourteen, to be able to attend the high school,
Rosella was transferred to the Institute Maria Mater Gratiae, in
Reggio Calabria, run by our Congregation, the Daughters of Mary
Rosella was a young girl, apparently like many others, at times
enthusiastic and outgoing, at others timid and reserved, but
this would have been a superficial impression: in reality she
was an exceptional person, as humble and unaware of herself as
to say: "Grant, my God, that I can spend my life in this
world, without anybody caring for me". Recalling this
time of her life, Rosella wrote: "When, at the age of
fourteen, I entered this College, once I heard Fr. Forno
speaking, and a question arose in myself: «Why I do not love
As she herself wrote, she eventually took part in a vocation's
retreat organized by the same Congregation of the Daughters of
Mary Co-Redemptrix and guided by its founder, Fr. Dante Forno,
and she allowed herself to be led by the Holy Spirit. Those days
saw Rosella's first steps on a stairway of love that she was to
keep climbing to the very top.
Understanding that Jesus was calling her to
follow Him more closely, she dedicated herself resolutely to Him
and began her novitiate with the Daughters of Mary Co-Redemptrix.
Rosella lived her vocation in its fullness, to the end, with
great joy, even through much suffering. She spent her life
always both devotedly filled with a spirit of prayer and in the
various activities of the Congregation (kindergarten school,
summer camps, vocational meetings, care of young people in
difficulties, etc.), while sustained by a profound love for
Jesus and the Most Blessed Virgin, which was founded on humble
service and loving care.
On 2nd July 1973, following the example of the
Virgin Co-Redemptrix, Rosella made her religious profession and
gave herself forever to God, according to the Charism of the
Congregation, so that through the ministerial mission of the
Priesthood, people might welcome with open heart the grace of
After this final step of her consecration, Rosella's life opened
itself to the radiant light of the never-ending search for the
Lord's beauty and for humble and loving service, above all to
those most in need of care and comfort. She remained faithful to
this commitment until the end of her life.
Rosella spent the last months of her life in Palermo, as a
kindergarten teacher, at the Ardizzone Institute,
where she died suddenly in her sleep on 4th January
1974, leaving this world as a true “Bride of Jesus”, so strong
was her love for Him…
Her eagerness to love Jesus never left her, but the more she
abandoned herself to loving Jesus, the more she felt
dissatisfied with her manner of life, and the more she asked
Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary to lead her by the hand to
true Love, to the perfect harmony of her will with that of God.
With great will power, Rosella allowed grace to triumph in her.
She never sought to be noticed by anyone, but wished rather to
be at the silent service of all, giving herself spontaneously
with complete dedication.
In the words of some of her friends, her relationship with
others made it "like heaven to be with her". Each of her
companions, in fact, was under the impression that she was
Rosella' s favourite, so much did she lavish her loving
attention on each of them.
People of all ages, but especially the young, find themselves
impressed and edified by this girl of our own time who in her
life and writings has been able to find the love of Jesus and
communicate it to others, reaching great heights of enlightened
In a few words, I can say that the characteristic notes of
Rosella's love for Jesus are:
A wholehearted, silent and secret faithfulness towards every
call of God;
A deep trust in God;
A life of prayer;
A profound, tender love towards the Blessed Virgin Mary;
Her simplicity of life, with no pretence;
A sincere, delicate love for everybody;
An unceasing practical service to others;
A tremendous generosity in giving herself;
A great joy, even in her sufferings and troubles.
I think that
the message of Rosella, who was born in the mud of the flood
that scatters, but was reborn in the purity of the love of
Christ, is this:
It is possible to flourish in every soil: the
secret lies in embracing life not in despair or as a
pre-destiny, but as an affectionate project of love which God
the Father has for each one of us.
And so, I would add:
Let us live our Love, even in the darkness of the Faith, lit up
and helped by a trustful Hope in God, to be able to shine upon
our neighbours the Light of Love and to enflame all the souls
with God's Love.
Rosella’s message is meant for everyone, but above all it is
addressed to youth and to those who are in search of the highest
values of life and for life, and so, while thanking Jesus for
the gift of Rosella’s life, let us ask Him that, through the
intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her example may inspire
in us the hidden virtue of the acceptance of the daily martyrdom
of a normal existence. AMEN!
obtain the beatification of the Servant of God