(Source: CD/Fides)

On June 19 the Holy Father authorised the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the Decree concerning the martyrdom of the Servant of God Sister Maria Laura Mainetti, of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Cross, who was born in Colico (Italy) on 20 August 1939 and killed in Chiavenna (Italy) on 6 June 2000.

The news, which paves the way for Sister Mainetti’s beatification, was greeted by the sound of bells in the communities of Villatico di Colico (Lecco), where the nun was born, and in Chiavenna (Sondrio), the place of her martyrdom.

According to information released by the diocese of Como, which “joyfully welcomes the news of this important recognition by the universal Church”, Teresina Mainetti was killed on 6 June 2000 (in the fortieth year of her religious profession) in Chiavenna, at end of a satanic ritual (inspired by that evocative date, the 6 of the 6 of the new millennium).

The killers themselves admitted that when she was dying, Sister Laura was praying for them, “Here I am! Lord, forgive them”.

At the age of 18, Teresina entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Cross; in August 1959 she professed her first vows as Sister Maria Laura and in 1960 made her perpetual profession in La Puye, mother house of the Congregation.

She dedicated her life to the mission among children, young people and families, in Vasto (Chieti), Rome, Parma, until she went to Chiavenna in 1984; here, in 1987, she also became Superior of the community.

The sisters describe her as “tireless and serene, always ready to roll up her sleeves when she discovered any difficult situation”.

Sister Maria Laura always had a particular sensitivity for young people. In one of her writings she expressed herself this way: “young people are poor … Yes, because they are often disoriented, uprooted, plagiarised, they suffocate an unspoken cry of lif … I feel the urge to accompany them and ask Jesus to help them, because they have no points of reference”.

On the evening of June 6, 2000, she hurriedly left the convent to go and help three underage girls, who, however, lured her into a trap to kill her. She died praying and forgiving them.

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PhD in ancient Jewish/Christian history and philosophy. Lecturer in ethics at Loyola University Maryland, Alcalá de Henares (Spain) campus. Religion journalist with 4 years experience.