Ven. Laura Meozzi

Ven. Laura Meozzi
Sunday, June 30, 2024 (All day)

Studied medicine, then responds to Lord's call

Laura was born in Florence on January 5, 1873, to Alessandro and Angela Mazzoni. Her wealthy, noble family moved to Rome soon after. There, Laura finished her studies and went on to study medicine. Her spiritual director was a Salesian who invited her to leave wealth behind and respond to the Lord's call by working for poor girls.  

After many nights spent in prayer, Laura became a Salesian Sister in 1898. She spent 23 years working in Italy, especially in Sicily, until 1921, when she was chosen to lead the first group of Sisters sent to Poland. During this latter period, Sr Laura's characteristic stood out: her motherliness.

Mateczka—mum, in Poland

She had a kindness that came from her Salesian loving-kindness and from the simplicity of Mornese. The Polish children called her mateczka, or "mum."

Organized orphanages

In 1922, Sr. Laura went on a journey with five other Sisters to Rozanystok to found a House for war orphans. They put the place in order and it took in 80 children—very poor and disorderly. They turned the place into one big, happy family. One of the unfortunate little ones said: "I had a serious intestinal disorder and Mother Laura—who everyone called mateczka—looked after me as if I was her own daughter. She was like a mother to everyone but took special care of those who were the poorest or even mentally challenged."

The government's local inspector was so impressed that he indicated he would send them a further two hundred orphans. The government and well-to-do families offered what was needed, and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians increased in numbers, blessed by the Lord. They opened a novitiate and new orphanages.

Stayed in Poland during the war

From 1922-1940, Sr. Laura, first local superior, then provincial, opened nine works and formed 110 new Sisters. During the Second World War, the Consulate invited her to go back to Italy but she stayed in Poland, living at an orphanage in the forests at Sakiszki, dressed as a peasant woman. She led her Sisters through those years via secret letters written in the style of Mother Mazzarello.

Moved many children secretly to the "new" Poland after the war

At the end of the war, when the new borders of Poland were defined, the Sisters and 104 children had to leave Vilnius by special train, to go to the "new" Poland. There were partisans and unauthorized children hidden on board with their families. Sr. Laura ran the risk of being shot. She prayed incessantly and obtained the grace of safety from the Mother of God.

Starting out again to bring new vigor to the work

Mother Laura started out again and opened another 12 Houses. She got the novitiate going again and gave everything a new sense of energy, and joy. People got their smiles back again.

However, she now felt exhausted. With her Sisters around her and accompanied by everyone praying for her, she died on 30 August 1951 at Pogrzebień.

Declared Venerable on June 27, 2011.


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