An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Saints Living Among Us

Growing up in Verona, Italy my mother had a friend named Luisa who married Alessandro Nottegar, and together the two of them dedicated their lives to Christ. When Sandro (as he was called) finished medical school, he and Luisa decided to take their family to Brazil to work as missionaries among the poor. They ran clinics, began a small school, worked in a leper colony, and opened their home in the evenings for music and prayer.

When the illness of their youngest daughter forced them to return to Verona, Sandro was called to continue his work there. With much prayer and faith, la Comunita` Regina Pacis was founded in 1986, a religious community dedicated to prayer, fellowship, and evangelization. It was there, just one month after the community officially opened, that Sandro suffered a massive heart attack and died. He was only 42 years old.

But his death wasn't an ending . . . it was the beginning of an incredible journey for those he left behind. His wife, Luisa, their three daughters, and the members of the Community continued Sandro's work in his name so that today they are doing mission work in Italy, Brazil, Hungary, and Yugoslavia. God's work, carried out in four countries, began with this one man, and in 2007 the Bishop of Verona began diocesan proceedings to formally nominate Alessandro Nottegar as a candidate for sainthood.

Just an ordinary man . . . and yet that's what makes Sandro's life story so powerful. It shows that there are Saints walking among us today, here, on this earth. Ordinary people, accomplishing extraordinary things, all for the glory of God.

Update: The documentation papers for the canonization of Sandro were ceremoniously sealed by the Bishop of Verona and are now officially at the Vatican. The formal investigation has begun.


Laura said...

Sandro and his family inspire us all! He truly deserves sainthood. I remember the rattlesnake skins Sandro and Luisa sent us from their early missionary days in Brazil, and the pictures of the little mud hut they lived in. They sacrificed all comforts to help those in need. Amazing.

suburbancorrespondent said...

Great story - thanks!

Karen said...

This is just a reminder that none of us is too insignificant to matter to God. Thanks for sharing! And thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

Lisa said...

This story gives me goose bumps! How inspiring!