On 18 July, Sr. Santina Dell’Aquila celebrated her 100th birthday, surrounded by the affection of her companions (the members of the James Alberione community, Albano, Rome) and neighboring FSP communities, together with the Institute’s Superior General, Sr. Anna Caiazza, and Provincial Superior, Sr Annunciata Bestetti.
The solemn EucharisticCelebration was presided over by the Superior General of the Society of St. Paul, Fr. Valdir José De Castro, who expressed his closeness to Sr. Santina and the joy of all the participants on this festive day. Although not physically present because of the security measures in place due to the pandemic, Sr. Santina’s relatives (nephews, nieces and their children and grandchildren), participated in the event spiritually from Puglia in southern Italy, in anticipation of the moment when they would be able to embrace their aunt and great-aunt personally and commemorate this milestone together with her.
Sr. Santina, born in Volturino (Foggia), Italy on 18 July a hundred years ago, entered the Congregation of the Daughters of St. Paul in 1935 and made her first religious profession on 3 March 1940–eighty years of fidelity to the Lord, who called her to communicate the good news that he loves all people and wants everyone to be truly happy. Sr. Santina witnessed to the Pauline mission through her apostolic activities in various communities in Italy, carried out with simplicity, consistency of life and a perpetual smile. Her sweet and gentle personality continues to enrich all those who meet her, despite her illness.
Sr. Santina is a great gift to all the Daughters of St. Paul throughout the world who, together with her, thank the Lord for the Pauline vocation, convinced that, in every stage of life, he accompanies us with his promise: “Do not be afraid. I am with you.”