23 Aug 2019
SALESIAN SAINTS OF AUGUST: Blessed Maria Troncatti, FMA
SALESIAN SAINTS OF AUGUST
Blessed Maria Troncatti, FMA, virgin
August 25, omitted this year (Sunday)
by Fr. Pasquale Liberatore, SDB
Maria Troncatti was born in Italy’s Brescia province on February 16, 1883, into a large, happy, and affectionate family whose livelihood came from fieldwork. Young Maria diligently learned catechism and frequented the sacraments, growing into a mature Christian with deep convictions.
She was interested in a religious vocation, but in obedience to her father and the pastor, she didn’t pursue one until she turned 21. At that time she applied to the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, was accepted, and was admitted to religious profession in 1908 at Nizza Monferrato.
During World War I (1915-1918 for Italy), Sister Maria studied nursing at Varazze and then served as a Red Cross nurse in a military hospital—an experience that proved invaluable to her during her 47 years as a missionary in the Amazon forests of eastern Ecuador.
Sister Maria left for Ecuador in 1922 and was sent among the Shuar people. With two other sisters she began the challenging work of evangelization amid dangers of every sort, including wild animals in the forests, raging rivers that had to be forded or crossed on bridges of woven vines or perhaps on the shoulders of the Indians.
Macas, Sevilla Don Bosco, and Sucua are some of the “miracles” that flourished on account of the activity of Sister Maria Troncatti: nurse, surgeon, orthopedist, dentist, and anesthetist—but above all else, catechist and evangelist, rich with marvelous resources of faith, patience, and a sister’s love. Her work for the advancement of the Shuar women flowered in hundreds of new Christian families, formed for the first time by young couples who freely chose each other.
Sister Maria died in an air crash at Sucua on August 25, 1969. Her remains rest at Macas. Her cause of canonization was initiated in 1986, and she was beatified at Macas by Cardinal Angelo Amato, SDB, on November 12, 2008.
Photo credit: sdb.org