In this morning's prayer time, (using Give Us This Day) by God's grace, I met a very special woman. Blessed Eurosia Fabris (1866-1932), or Mamma Rosa as she was called by everyone who knew her. I am so used to reading the bio's of saints or blessed's who lived lives as holy nuns, priests, or monks, that Mamma Rosa's story caught me by surprise and completely warmed my heart immediately, as I am always on the lookout for mentors who lived holy lives as mothers. She was the mother of 11 children (2 adopted) and a 3rd order lay Franciscan. As a young woman she felt called to serve a family with three young children, who's mother had tragically passed away. Later on, she felt called to marry their father, (even though she had several other men who had previously expressed interest, but to none of whom she felt called to marry) and then went on to have nine more children (one of the original mother's children passed away shortly after the mother's death). What an amazing charitable, and humble choice this had to be. And the life she lived was extraordinary in the very ordinary day to day tasks. I myself as a mom, and I'm sure many of you mother's out there, often struggle to find how to be extraordinary in all the ordinary and lowly tasks that we do day in and day out.
Mamma Rosa led a devoted life to prayer, and taught the catechism in her parish, cared for the sick, and helped young women who were drawn to her home in lessons on housekeeping. I would have loved to be one of those women who went to her home for lessons on how to do the ordinary in extraordinary holiness. She had favored devotions to the 'Holy Spirit, the infant Jesus, the Cross of Christ, the Eucharist, the Virgin Mary, and the souls in the Purgatory' (Vatican source). She lived out the Franciscan spirit of poverty and joy in her home, among her daily tasks. She was said to be be so gentle and always praising God.
To have a joyful heart that sings God's praises in the mundane tasks of caring for the family is our goal sisters. I hope this little tiny blog post has inflamed your heart to go and love your family well today while offering up your sufferings for the conversion of sinners, and carrying Mamma Rosa's example in your hearts. The little things do matter, in fact they are the big things in God's eyes.
"Mamma Rosa was a model of holiness in what should be the daily life of a Catholic family. Her three sons who became priests were encouraged in their vocation by her example of holiness. She was proclaimed Venerable on the 7th of July, 2003, by Pope John Paul II who recognized the testimony of her heroic and singular virtues. It was the wish of Pope Pius XII that the life of this marvelous woman be known among all Christian families of our day."Quote and blog post source link here: Vatican website
Mamma Rosa was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.
"I wish to be a poor woman and I am happy with it, because it seems to me that this way I am loved even more by the Lord....It is not riches, but doing the will of God that makes the heart happy." -Blessed Eurosia Fabris