St. Josephine Vannini (1859-1911)
Josephine (Giuseppina) was born in Rome, Italy, on 7 July 1859 and lost her parents as a small child. She was raised in the Torlonia Conservatory on Via Sant'Onofrio, under the guidance of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul. She entered the Daughters' novitiate in Siena, but was forced to leave because of poor health. While on retreat in 1891 she met Fr Luigi Tezza, procurator general of the Camillians. For some time he had been thinking of founding a women's community, which would be consecrated to God for the care of the sick. Moved by divine grace, he invited her to join him in establishing the new community. She thought about it, prayed and sought advice; then in characteristic fashion she gave him a decisive "yes".
In 1892, the Servant of God and two companions received the scapular of Camillian tertiaries. One year later they professed private vows, adding a fourth vow of service to the sick, even at the risk of their own lives. They made their perpetual profession as Daughters of St Camillus in 1895 and Josephine was elected Superior General.
In 1900 Fr Tezza was sent to Lima, and so responsibility for the new congregation rested in the hands of Mother Vannini. The congregation continued to grow and spread to France, Belgium and Argentina. On the night of 23 February 1911, Josephine Vannini went serenely to meet the Lord she had served in the poor and sick.
She was beatified on October 16, 1994 by Pope St. John Paul II.