Bl. Giulia Nemesia Valle was born in Italy in July 1847. Her parents ran a milliner’s shop, but her mother died when she was four years old. Giulia and her brother Vincent were sent to live with relatives, and learned their catechism from a priest and family friend.
Giulia was sent to a boarding school run by the Sisters of Charity when she was 11. She suffered with the separation from her family, but cultivated a deeper relationship with the Lord during her time away. When she returned home, her relationships with her family were strained, and she turned down her father’s arranged marriage to become a Sister of Charity at the age of 19.
Taking the name of Sr. Nemesia, one of the earliest martyrs of the Church, Giulia worked in humble jobs, caring for the sick and the poor. At 40, she was nominated superior of the community.
In 1903, she was appointed novice mistress at a convent in Borgaro, and spent many years there working with young girls entering the convent. Her methods were at odds with the Provincial Superior there, who reproached her and humiliated her. Giulia bore her humiliations in silence and charity, and after 13 years she had guided nearly 500 novices.
Bl. Giulia Nemesia died on Dec. 18, 1916. She was declared blessed by St. Pope John Paul II in 2004.
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