Benedetta Rosello was born at Liguria, Italy, in 1811, and at the age of sixteen she became a Franciscan tertiary. For nine years, she cared for an invalid, and when he died, Benedetta, along with Paula Barla, and her two cousins Angela and Domenica Pescio, established a community at Savona in 1837.
The new community was called the Daughters of Our Lady of Pity, and its members engaged in the education of poor girls, the founding of hospitals, and other charitable works. Benedetta took the religious name Josepha and was mistress of novices. She was later elected superior in 1840, and she remained in that post till her death.
In 1846, the group received diocesan approval, and the number of its foundations increased rapidly. During Josepha’s lifetime, the congregation numbered sixty-eight houses. During the last years of her life, Josepha was quite ill and her prayer life was terribly arid. Nonetheless, she persevered till the end. She died on December 7, 1880, and she was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1949.
Jesus, Whose birth we anticipate, preached the Good News of care and concern for others. When we put Jesus’ words into action, we can rapidly see what can be accomplished, as was the case with St. Josepha and her sisters.
O God, may we always be faithful to Your invitation to be caring for others. Through the intercession of Your servant St. Josepha, be with us as we reach out to those who are most in need of our care and love. This we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.