Choose your language EoF

Saint of the Day for 11 April: Blessed Elena Guerra

Blessed Elena Guerra: The Life and Message of a Spiritual Pioneer


Blessed Elena Guerra


Virgin, foundress


June 23, 1835, Lucca


April 11, 1914, Lucca


11 April


2004 edition


April 26, 1959, Pope John XXIII


Roman Martyrology

In the same city, Blessed Elena Guerra, virgin, who established the Congregation of the Oblates of the Holy Spirit for the education of female youth and admirably instructed the faithful on the cooperation of the Holy Spirit in the economy of salvation.


The Saint and Mission

Blessed Elena Guerra left an indelible mark on spiritual history as a pioneer in the renewal of religious life and the promotion of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Her ardent desire to spread the Gospel led her to actively engage in the mission of proclaiming God’s love and mercy to all the people she met. Her life was one of constant service to the Church and her community, witnessing with zeal and dedication to Christ’s saving presence in the world.

The Saint and Mercy

Blessed Elena Guerra, with her extraordinary commitment and fervent love for God, was a beacon of mercy in the world. Through her life and ministry, she embodied Jesus’ teachings on compassionate love and forgiveness. Her devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Spirit inspired many people to live with compassion and love toward others, thus reflecting divine mercy in the world. Her witness continues to enlighten souls and prompt them to seek God’s mercy in every circumstance of life.

The Congregation of the Oblates of the Holy Spirit

The religious congregation of the «Oblate Sisters of the Holy Spirit» came to life in Lucca in 1882 on the initiative of Elena Guerra. The specific task of Elena Guerra’s daughters is to be “listening souls always docile to every breath of Grace” to spread devotion to the Holy Spirit throughout the world. Among the events of post-unification Italy, the Foundress felt called to promote a renewed Pentecost in the Church by making effective «the mystery of Divine Charity, which, from the Cenacle, through the Church, wants to reach all men». The Congregation began on 4 November 1882, the feast of San Carlo Borromeo, with the delivery of the religious habit to Elena and five other nuns by the Archbishop of Lucca, Monsignor Nicola Ghilardi. On 18 September 1889 the first Oblates made their perpetual profession and on 8 March 1911 the Holy See granted the Decretum Laudis approving the Congregation. The Oblates of the Holy Spirit base their consecration on service to the Church and society, committing themselves particularly to the cultural and religious education of youth, assistance to the needy and missionary activity through the forms required by the needs of the places where they operate. Since the foundress wanted to give her daughters the humble and silent Saint Zita as patron and model of their service, in the Lucca area the Oblates of the Holy Spirit are more commonly known as “Zitine”. The Ghivizzani palace in the austere and sober Piazza S. Agostino in Lucca was the first headquarters of the group of nuns who joined Elena Guerra and today is the Mother House of the Congregation.


Writer, theologian, apostle, saint, her biographer Father Domenico Abbrescia says of her. She was home-schooled in Italian, French, music, painting, embroidery and, on the sly, Latin. At 19, she was a nurse among the cholerous people of Lucca and…


Source and Images

You might also like