Venerable Antonietta Meo
Venerable Antonietta Meo (1930-1937), affectionately nicknamed Nennolina by her family, was a child born in Rome. Her family was deeply Catholic and sent her to a nursery school run by Catholic sisters. As a very young child, she had an unnaturally deep understanding of Christ’s love.
When Antonietta was 6, she had a leg amputated due to bone cancer. From this moment on, she experienced varying degrees of chronic pain. Shortly after the amputation, while she was still in the hospital, her father asked her if she was in pain. Antonietta replied, “Daddy, the pain is like fabric, the stronger it is, the more value it has.” All those who overheard were astounded.
From this moment, Antonietta frequently offered her pain and suffering to Jesus. Even at such a young age, her profound understanding of prayer and suffering was inspiring to everyone who knew her. She was fitted with a prosthetic leg and of her experience of it she said, “May each step that I take be a little word of love.”
Impressed by her maturity and spiritual knowledge, her family priest recommended she receive her First Communion earlier than most children. She was ecstatic at the opportunity and received her First Communion on Christmas night of 1936. Afterward, she spent an hour kneeling in prayer. She took Confirmation only a few months later, however the amputation had not stopped the spread of the cancer and her health went downhill swiftly following these sacraments.
During the entirety of her short life, Antonietta wrote hundreds of letters to Jesus and Mary. Pope Pius IX, who had heard of them from a friend, was impressed and sent an emissary to her house to ask her to pray for him. After her death, she was declared Venerable, and her writings persist to this day at the Basilica of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem in Rome. Venerable Antonietta Meo, pray for us!