Dear little Nennolina, you walked at an early age before the holy presence of God, you followed His law of love written on your heart and you knew when the time came He would come to take you to him in heaven. You were not afraid. You did not run from suffering. You turned always to the saints and most of all Mary: "Dear little Virgin, you who are very good, take my heart and bring it to Jesus.” Intercede for us Nennolina that we too will make the Lord the ruler of our inner house and dwell with him always in our hearts. May this Christmas, Christ be born in our hearts as he was in yours. Amen.
Notes on our new little friend:
Benedict XVI approved Monday the decree recognizing the heroic virtue of Antonietta Meo, who died of bone cancer. Along with the recognition of Meo's virtue, the Pope approved six decrees recognizing miracles, and seven other decrees affirming lives of heroic virtue.
Born in 1930, Antonietta was diagnosed with bone cancer at age 5 after a fall caused by a knee injury would not heal.
The girl formed the habit of leaving a letter at the foot of a crucifix every night. At first, she dictated these notes to her mother; later she wrote them herself. The more than 100 letters and her diary reveal an intense mysticism and a surprising level of theological reflection, albeit hidden in simple phrases.
"Dear Jesus," one of the letters says, "I love you very much. I want to abandon myself in your hands [...] I want to abandon myself in your arms. Do with me what you want. [...] Help me with your grace. You help me, since without your grace, I can do nothing."
Her letters were written to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary. In a letter to Mary from Sept. 18, 1936, she said, "Dear little Virgin, you who are very good, take my heart and bring it to Jesus."
Antonietta died July 3, 1937, five months before her 7th birthday.
In 1981, the Vatican Congregation for Saints' Causes removed the norm restricting "heroic virtue" only to those who had lived a "period of maturity." The change in the norm permitted the visionaries of Fatima, Jacinta and Francisco, to be beatified in 2000.
Though she was very young, she showed comprehension and love for redemptive pain that you can't explain if you don't admit the intervention of an extraordinary Grace. She understood that everyone can and must complete in himself Jesus' pain for the salvation of every soul. She thought of pain in a personal way, as a reward to Jesus for all the pain He suffered. She understood that her pain could lessen the ones of Jesus who keeps suffering not in His physical body but in His mystic one, in the battle fields, in the many ways through which men suffer."You know, mum? I offered my leg to Jesus for the conversion of the poor sinners and so as to bless all the soldiers in Africa."". To her father: "Pain is like fabric, the stronger it is, the more it's worth". To her mother: "When you feel pain, you have to keep quiet and offer it to Jesus for a sinner. Jesus suffered so much for us, but He hadn't committed any sin: He was God. How could we complain, we who are sinners and always offend Him?".To her spiritual guide: "For an instant I lie down on my wound, so as to offer more pain to Jesus".If anyone asked her how she felt, she answered she was fine.She didn't want anyone to pray for her recovery, but to pray to do God's will. "I want to stay with Him on the cross because I love Him".
Prayer to obtain grace by intercession of "Antonietta Meo", God's servant
Oh God, Father of the humble, we thank You because with Antonietta Meo You gave us the gift of a live image of Your Love and Wisdom, revealed to the young. You, who gave her the grace of being joined to the Cross of Lord Jesus, and of suffering with fortitude and joy, make her glorious even now on earth, so that everyone can take her a bright example of loyalty to the Gospel, Grant us her simple and passionate loveFor the Eucharist and the Church; come towards our povertyAnd, by her intercession, according to Your Holy Will, Give us the grace, which we ask for faithfully. Amen