of Our Memory
GLORY OF MOTHER ELENA BETTINI
“On the 25th anniversary of her death, I want to remember her as an example to her Sisters, to the Daughters of Mary among whom she had grown in faith, to the young women who, like her, follow the call of the King of Love.
This chosen little flower blossomed in a pretty village that was not far from Rome, on one of the Alban Hills: Grottaferrata on January 5, 1895, Eve of the Epiphany, was a true gift from Heaven. Little Chiarina grew good and meek on the knees of her mother, a holy woman, full of Christian virtues. She learned to love the Eucharist, that one day made her strong and heroic.
At the age of six, she began attending elementary school at the Daughters of Divine Providence and in that oasis of holiness where the voice of the Venerable Mother Foundress still echoed, the girl understood the beauty of religious life and listened to the sweet invitation, but she was too much young to be accepted in the Institute.
At the end of elementary school, Chiarina dedicated herself to farming with her parents and there, in contact with nature, she would remain absorbed all day in the sweet contemplation of the wonders of God.
Every morning before going to work, she entered the ancient Abbey of Grottaferrata to feed on the Bread of the Angels and in the evening, returning from the fields, she invariably used to pass into the Institute of the Sisters to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. Then she spontaneously helped to rearrange the work room where she too had learned embroidery.
Chiarina, always attentive to the voice of God, made the Catechism as her preferred study; in fact, she was repeatedly awarded in catechetical competition.
In mortification, she found the most beautiful satisfactions and she always found opportunities to offer Jesus her “sacrifices”. During the harvest time, although working in the vineyard for long hours, she did not taste even a grape. She was preparing for the feast of the Assumption, of our Celestial Mother, with 40 days of abstinence from fruit and other small penances.
On September 16, 1912, because of her constant insistence, her parents, even though with sorrow in their heart, gave her their blessing to finally cross the threshold of our Institute to become part of it, when she was just 17 years old.
On 19 October 1913, she received the religious habit. She was overwhelmed with joy and fully aware of the gift of God and in dedicating herself to Him she offered herself without reserve. Jesus accepted the sacrifice of that candid lily and did not spare her difficulties that she knew how to live with her usual smile that radiates the joy and peace of a heart possessed by the love of God.
Sr. M. Gesuina, helped by the Divine Friend, was able to take in any responsibility, even a strenuous one, which was entrusted to her. She knew how to be a serene and affable mother for the children, when she had to prepare them for First Holy Communion she used the most moving episodes of the Gospel to make known to those simple and innocent children the goodness of Jesus and succeeded in infusing in their hearts an intense desire to receive him with love.
Among those children, many are now worthy priests who still remember her in blessing. The Holy Sister reached the summit of perfection with profound humility, constant serenity, penitence that had a great impact on her body. A terrible and insidious disease brought her to the grave. She was not frightened of her impending death because she was happy to meet the Bridegroom she had loved so much.
In a dream, the Mother Foundress predicted the hour of death that came true, for our dear Sister, awaiting the coming of the Bridegroom, renewing the offer of life and, as encaptured in ecstasy, gave her last breath on 20 October 1927.
Her mother, who in her house did not know of her daughter’s death, saw the room fill with light, at that moment she heard a well-known voice that told her: “Mom, I am flying”. Yes, our dear Sr. M. Gesuina from the earth had flown to Heaven!
“Beloved daughter, today when you enjoy the beatific vision of God, pray for the Institute that it is proud to have received you in its mother’s womb. Pray for today’s youth, so thirsty for happiness that it seeks in vain far from the Lord, gathering only illusions and pains.
Implore good Jesus so that your beloved Marian Congregation flourishes and He still remembers those who today hold the fate of our Institute and were your devoted companion”.
(From the Manuscripts of Mother Luisa Angeloni)
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