Pope authorizes Decrees on heroic virtues concerning three religious of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Poor


FIDES

On March 17, 2021, the Holy Father Francis received in Audience His Most Reverend Eminence Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the Audience, the Supreme Pontiff authorized the same Congregation to promulgate the Decrees concerning three missionary sisters who died during an outbreak of the ebola virus while serving in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Annelvira Ossoli (born Celeste Maria), professed religious of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Poor – Palazzolo Institute; born August 26, 1936 in Orzivecchi (Italy) and died in Kikwit (Democratic Republic of Congo) on May 23, 1995, where she worked since 1961 as an obstetrician and nurse. She was Provincial of Africa when the Ebola epidemic broke out and did not hesitate to join Kikwit from Kinshasa to help her sisters who had contracted the disease and died one after the other until she herself was infected. Sister Annelvira, like the sisters who had died before her, asked to reserve the plasma for transfusions for the children who needed it most.

Sister Vitarosa Zorza (born Maria Rosa), professed religious of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Poor – Palazzolo Institute; born October 9, 1943 in Palosco (Italy) and died in Kikwit (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on May 28, 1995. She left for Africa in 1981, where she dedicated herself to malnourished children, the elderly, the mentally ill and prisoners. Once aware of the tragic situation at Kikwit hospital, she too asked to go there to help her sisters and the Superior General, Sister Ossoli, but she was infected and died only a few days after Sister Annelvira.

Sister Danielangela Sorti (born Anna Maria), professed religious of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Poor – Palazzolo Institute; born June 15, 1947 in Bergamo (Italy) and died in Kikwit (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on May 11, 1995. She was a professional nurse, in Congo since 1978, where she dedicated herself to the Mosango hospital in the poor neighborhood of Kikimi, on the outskirts of Kinshasa and finally to the mission of Tumikia. She was infected when she offered to assist Sister Floralba, already ill, to relieve her now tired sisters.

For all of these nuns, the Cause for beatification was opened in the Cathedral of Kikwit on April 28, 2013. On June 8, 2013, the respective inquiries followed within the Diocese of Bergamo, where the nuns had spent part of their lives, which ended on January 25, 2014. The diocesan phase was closed in Kikwit on February 23, 2014. Their mortal remains, at the request of the Bishop of Kikwit, rest in front of the Cathedral.

SOURCE FIDES. Published under a Creative Commons License.

PHOTO CREDIT: Frank Camp

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