Sister Consolata di Santo, one of the first religious sisters to work in the hospital developed by St. Padre Pio, died March 2 at age 101, according to the Italian publication Avvenire.
Born 1916 in Sant’Eramo al Colle, Italy, she was the youngest of 10 children, who all went on to be consecrated to God. Her mother, before she died and received Last Rites, had asked for this grace for her children, Avvenire reported.
Sister Consolota entered the convent in 1936 with the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Sisters, whom Padre Pio later chose to serve the sick in his beloved “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza” (Home for the Relief of Suffering).
In September 1955, Sister Consolata was one of three sisters who came to San Giovanni Rotondo, where the hospital was located.
She told Teleradio Padre Pio that when she first met the saintly man, she was struck by his “beautiful smile and playful demeanor.” He told the three sisters to not worry because other religious would arrive. Six months later, there were already 15 religious working in the “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza.”
Sister Consolata worked at the hospital for 20 years, caring for patients alongside Padre Pio.
In 1975, Sister Consolata stopped working at the hospital at age 59. According to Avvenire, she entered the cloister with the Capuchin Poor Clares to prepare for “a holy death,” believing that she would die within a few years. However, she would go on to live for 42 more years, in a life of prayer and poverty until her death last week.
This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Stampa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.