Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Antonietta Meo the youngest saint in history!?

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An Italian girl, who was nicknamed by her family "Nennolina", was today placed on course by the Vaticanto become the youngest saint in history.

Antonietta Meowas just six-and-a-half years old when she lost her battle against bone cancer. But in the final months of her life she began writing letters to Jesus which theologians have declared to be "extraordinary", and the works of a "mystic".

In one of the letters she wrote: "Dear baby Jesus, you are holy, you are good. Help me, grant me your grace and give me back my leg. If you don't want to, then may your will be done." Antonietta died on 3 July 1937 and her cause for sainthood was opened in Rome in 1972.

The letters reveal that when the girl had her leg amputated, at the age of five, she bore her sufferings cheerfully and offer them up in union with those of the crucified Christ.

Today, Pope Benedict XVI approved a decree recognising the "heroic virtues" of Antonietta. This means that two miracles are now required to declare the youngster first "blessed" and then a saint. If she is eventually canonised she will be the youngest non-martyr saint in the 2,000-year history of the Roman Catholic Church.

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