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(ANS – Roma) – In an audience granted today to Cardinal Angelo Amato SDB, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Benedict XVI signed the decree regarding the miraculous cure attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Maria Troncatti (+1969), Daughter of Mary Help of Christians and a Missionary in Ecuador.
“Let us accept this gift as a special sign of the love of God for the whole Salesian Family and for the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in particular,” said Mother Yvonne, Superior General of the FMA. “The holiness of the family gives honour to all the groups who share the Salesian spirituality of Don Bosco. It is an encouragement to live the charism with passion and to transmit it to the young generations in a world full of challenges, but also with no shortage of signs of hope. The path of holiness recognised by the Church is an extraordinary gift of the goodness of God, but the high standard of holiness lived in daily life is also the task of each one of us. We want to re-awaken the passion for that simple yet demanding holiness which belongs to our Salesian life and before that to a life lived according to the Gospel with constancy and total self-donation.”
Maria Troncatti was born at Corteno Golgi (Brescia) on 16 February 1883. She grew up in a large family happily working in the fields and caring for her younger brothers and sisters, in the warm affectionate atmosphere created by her parents. She regularly attended catechism in her parish, where she developed a deep Christian spirit and opened her heart to the values of a religious vocation. In obedience to her father and parish priest, however, she waited until she reached adulthood before asking to be admitted to the Institute of the Salesian Sisters. She made her first profession in 1908 at Nizza Monferrato.
During the First World War (1915-18) Sr. Maria took a course in health care and worked as a Red Cross nurse in the military hospital. This experience was to prove very valuable in the course of her long missionary life in the Amazon forests of Ecuador.
She left for Ecuador in 1922 and was sent to work among the Shuar people where, together with two other Sisters, she began the difficult work of evangelisation. They faced dangers of every kind, including those caused by the beasts of the forest and by fast flowing rivers that had to be waded through or crossed on fragile "bridges" made from creepers or on the shoulders of the Indians.
Macas, Sevillia Don Bosco, Sucúa are some of the "miracles" of Sr. Maria Troncatti's work that still flourish. She was nurse, surgeon, orthopaedist, dentist, anaesthetist… But, above all, she was catechist and evangeliser, rich in the wonderful resources of her faith, patience and fraternal love.
Her work for the promotion of the Shuar woman bore fruit in hundreds of new Christian families formed, for the first time, on a free personal choice on the part of the young couple. Sr. Maria died in a tragic air crash at Sucúa on August 25, 1969. offering her life for reconciliation between the colonisers and the Indians. Her remains lie at Macas, in the Province of Morona (Ecuador). She was declared Venerable on 8 November 2008.