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The first beatification by Benedict XVI



Yesterday, 20th June 2013 the first biography in English of the Blessed Eurosia Fabris Barban was published by the prestigious German publisher Academia Verlag of Sankt Augustin.

This the eighth edition (following seven Italian editions) of the life of this mother of a family and Franciscan tertiary, edited by her great-grandson Fr. Gianluigi Pasquale OFM (Cap.), lecturer at the Pontifical Lateran University, is entitled: “Blessed Mamma Rosa: humble love makes great the meek” (“Beata Mamma Rosa. L’amore umile fa grandi i piccoli”).

Hers was the first beatification “extra Urbem” of the pontificate of Benedict XVI, which took place in the cathedral of Vicenza on 6th November 2005. Mamma Rosa was born in Quinto Vicentino in the province of Vicenza on 27.09.1866 and aged twenty, entered into a heroic marriage with the young widower Carlo Barban, the father of two little girls. The couple had nine children together, three of whom became priests, and to whom over time were added three further adopted children.

Through the preaching in the USA of one of her sons, Fr. Bernardino Angelo Barban OFM, the author of this biography, and more recently through that of her great-grandson, the editor, again in the USA and Canada, devotion to Mamma Rosa has spread widely, including as far afield as Australia. From there a devout follower of Mamma Rosa, Franca Bopf, approached the British journal The Tablet with a view to making the life of this humble, simple mother of a family better known, a woman whose intercession is often sought, even now, by those mothers who however much they want to have children, cannot achieve their heart’s desire.

The Tablet publicized the case, and the work of translating this interesting biography, proof of the universality of the Church, was quickly taken up by Katherine Hutton Mezzacappa who lives in Italy. The Apostolic Brief by which Benedict XVI raised this dressmaker and catechist to the altars, now buried in the Parish Church of Marola (province of Vicenza), is published in this English edition for the first time. It begins with these words: “a woman cannot find her true self except by giving love to others”.

Gianluigi Pasquale OFM Cap. Verona, 21 Giugno 2013

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