The “100-Year Smile” of Sr Maria Claudia Sartor


On Sunday, 19 January, the Daughters of St. Paul of our two Alba communities and the relatives of Sr. Maria Claudia Sartor gathered together to participate in a Eucharistic Celebration commemorating the 100th birthday of our sister, who was born on 22 January 1920 in Villanova Istrana (Treviso). To further enrich this anniversary, Sr Maria Claudia received a visit from Bishop Marco Brunetti of Alba, who gave her his blessing.

The seventh of ten children, Sr. Maria Claudia entered the Congregation in August 1932 and has lived continuously in the FSP Divine Providence community in Alba since 1936. Throughout these many decades, our sister’s life has been an ongoing hymn of praise to the Lord for gifting her with a call to the Pauline religious life–an invitation she accepted with great enthusiasm and joy, even though she was still very young.

Sr. Maria Claudia spent her life in the technical apostolate of Alba, where she carried out the responsibilities assigned to her with the passion and dedication characteristic of her. Precision, accuracy in details, punctuality, kindness and generosity have always been the hallmarks of her personality–all enhanced by her warm and bright smile, which still enchants everyone who approaches her, despite the health problems that have kept her bed-bound since 2013.

From this “altar” of suffering, Sr. Maria Claudia, a faithful Pauline apostle, continues to pray and offer herself to God. Her inability to speak has been transformed into a direct line of communication with God, proclaiming to her caregivers and visitors what she has always believed, namely, that Jesus Master is the Lord of life, not death; of joy, not sadness.

We are grateful to Sr. Maria Claudia for the person she is, for her loving presence among us, for her capacity to build communion, for her faithful service to the Congregation and because she is a living example of St. Paul’s affirmation that “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Co. 9:7).