(1656 - 1728)
Easter: May 7th
Blessed Rose was born in Viterbo, Italy. Her father, Godfrey Venerini,
was a doctor. Rose grew up, and was engaged to get married, when suddenly
her fiancé died. She decided to dedicate her life to Jesus, instead, and
entered the convent. But a few months later, her father died, so she
returned home to care for her widowed mother.
Rose, who knew she could be a leader, gathered the young women in her
neighborhood. They prayed the Rosary together in the evenings. As they
all got to know each other, Rose became aware of how little the young
people knew about their faith.
Fr. Ignatius Martinelli, her spiritual director, told Rose that God
really wanted her to be a teacher, and not a nun. So Rose and two helpers
opened a free school for girls in 1685. The parents, who sent their
daughters there, were very pleased with the quality of education and the
Rose was a gifted educator who was able to teach others to teach. In
1692, Cardinal Barbarigo invited Rose to his diocese of Montefiascone,
requesting her to organize his schools and train his teachers. It was in
his diocese that she became a friend and teacher of Lucy Filippini. Lucy
then started a religious order, and years later, was declared a
Rose organized schools in various places. Some people disliked her work
and attacked her and her teachers. But the teachers did not let that stop
them. Rose even opened a school in Rome in 1713. Pope Clement XI
congratulated Rose for starting such a wonderful school.
When Rose finally died in Rome on May 7, 1728, at the age of seventy-two,
she was directing forty schools in many parts of Italy. After her death,
Blessed Rose's lay teachers became religious sisters. The Venerini
sisters continue to perform their teaching ministry the way Blessed Rose
would in USA and other places.