June 2, 2016

Pope Francis will canonize sister Maria Elizabeth Hesselblad

Her monastery was declared House of Life by the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation

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Next 5 June 2016 Pope Francis will declare as saint, Swedish nun Sr. Maria Elizabeth Hesselblad. The ceremony will be held in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square.

If Mr. Piero Piperno is alive today it is thanks to sister Hesselblad, who welcomed him into the convent in Rome. But the gratitude of this Jewish Holocaust survivor to that woman is even more profound for another reason: at all times she respected his conscience and his religion.

Mr. Piperno offered his testimony on 15 January 2015, during the “House of Life” award ceremony honoring the Monastery of the Order of The Most Holy Savior of St. Bridget, in Piazza Farnese in Rome. The event was organized by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation within the frame of its educational program “Houses of Life”.

When he was 15, Mr. Piperno found shelter in the Monastery of Santa Brigida in Rome. The Mother Superior, Mary Elizabeth Hesselblad, saved him and respected his Jewish religion. Today the monastery is a “House of Life”.

“This is your house,” said Mother Tekla Famiglietti, the current abbess of the order during the ceremony, to make people and the elderly guest feel at ease. “This was my house,” replied Mr. Piperno opening a window on the past, on the war, the darkness of evil and of good courage.

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