Amabile Visintainer is the 4th cousin on the Zamboni side of the family, once removed from Adam Richetti.
It is very possible that we share a common, although very distant, ancestry with Blessed Mother Pauline. Amabile Lucia
Visintainer was born in Vigolo Vattaro, Trento, on December 16,1865. She was the daughter of Antonio Napoleone
Visintainer and Anna Pianezzer. The ancestors we have in common are Giuseppe Zamboni, born June 17,1732 and his
wife, Anna Maria Marzari born June 3, 1731. Until age 10 Amabile lived in Vigolo Vattaro surrounded by family and
friends. Teresa Bailoni, our direct line ancestor was three years younger than Amabile. It seems quite likely that Teresa
and Amabile may have known one another in childhood. During Teresa and Amabile's youth, economic conditions
were terrible in Tyrol. At age 8 Amabile went to work in the Vigolo Vattaro silk mill.
Napoleone Visintainer and many others from Vigolo Vattaro learned of the Brazilian government's invitation to
Europeans to settle in Brazil. It was an agonizing decision, but many Vigolani felt that they had to leave their beloved
Tyrol in order to provide a better life for their families. Vigolo Vattaro was a town of approximately two thousand
people. In a 2-1/2month time period, approximately 20% of the population left the town and resettled in Brazil. More
families would follow later. The Visintainer family arrived in Brazil in late 1875 along with a group of 109 men, women
and children. In 1876 the immigrants established a village in the Province of Santa Catarina. They named their new
For the next ten years Amabile's life centered on church, home, farm, and family. She realized her calling to the
religious life, but circumstances prevented her from fulfilling her dream. In August 1886, her mother died in childbirth.
Amabile took over the household and care of her 12 siblings while her father left Vigolo to work in Nova Trento. He
returned home to Vigolo on the weekends. Eventually, Napoleone married a young widow, Maria Zamboni. Napoleone's
remarriage gave Amabile the opportunity to enter the religious life.
It took many years of trials, dashed hopes, and dedication, but finally on December 7, 1895, Amabile along with two
friends, Virginia Nicolodi and Teresa Maoli prounced their vows of charity, obedience and chastity and the The Little
Sisters of the Immaculate Conception was founded. As the congregation grew, their work spread to nearby towns. In
1903 they were asked to be missionaries in the large city of Sao Paolo. There the congregation continued to multiply
as did their good works. They reached out to Brazil's sick and poor. Internal conflicts arose within the congregation and
at age 44 Mother Pauline was unfairly removed from her duties as Mother General by the Archbishop. This turning
point in Mother Pauline's life is referred to as the 'beginning of the hidden life of Mother Pauline. Although she had
labored so long and so hard for many years she did not defend herself against the injustice and false accusations, but
instead accepted the Archbishop's decision. Mother Pauline continued her tireless work helping the poor, the sick, the
abandoned, the handicapped and the mentally retarded. She accepted menial labor with good cheer and dedication.
Word of Mother Pauline's charity, holiness and love spread throughout Brazil. Many people sought her out and asked
her to pray for them. She always had time for everyone.
In 1938, Mother Pauline's diabetes affected her vision. She injured her finger while chopping wood. This led to
gangrene. The finger was amputated; however, the gangrene continued to spread. A second operation was performed
and her right hand was amputated. Sadly, a third operation was necessary and Mother Pauline's right arm was then
amputated. Soon afterwards, she became blind. Mother Pauline's health continued to fail and then it was discovered
that she had pulmonary cancer. She spent the last year of her life confined to bed. Mother Pauline died on July 8,
1942. In accordance with her wishes, a simple funeral was held at the motherhouse.
On October 18, 1992, Holy Father, John Paul II beatified Mother Pauline. She is now known as Blessed Pauline of the
Agonizing Heart of Jesus. Many miracles were performed through her intercession. One of the outstanding miracles
that led to her beatification was the healing of a young boy's paralyzed and withered leg. By 1994 The Little Sisters of
the Immaculate Conception community had grown to include 1,892 Sisters, 130 novices and 300 aspirants in the 35
states in Brazil. Foundations are in Argentina, Chile, Nicarague, Chad, Zambia, Mozambique and Italy. Mother Pauline
is Brazil's first citizen to be beatified. She was a most courageous woman who lived the gospel with love.(The biography
of Mother Pauline was excerpted from Love's Harvest, Frederick Farace, S.T.L., published by The Riehle Foundation,
1. "We hear them announcing in our own tongues the mighty works of God" (Acts 2,11).
On the day of Pentecost, this is what the crowd of pilgrims "from every nation under heaven" exclaimed when they
listened to the preaching of the Apostles.
On this day of Pentecost, we are filled with the same wonder, while we contemplate the great miracles worked by God
in the lives of the five new saints raised to the glory of the altars: Alphonsus of Orozco, a priest of the Order of St
Augustine; Ignatius of Santhiá, a priest of the Order of the Capuchin Franciscans; Umile of Bisignano, a religious of the
Order of Friars Minor; Pauline of the Suffering Heart of Jesus, virgin foundress of the Congregation of the Little Sisters
of the Immaculate Conception; Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello, religious, foundress of the Congregation of the
Benedictine Sisters of Providence.
They travelled the highways of the world announcing and witnessing to Christ with their words and their lives. This is
why they have become an eloquent sign of the perennial Pentecost of the Church.
2. "Receive the Holy Spirit: whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven" (Jn 20, 22-23).
With these words, the Risen One bestows on the Apostles the gift of the Spirit and with it the divine power to forgive
sins. The Capuchin priest Ignatius of Santhiá lived uniquely the mission of forgiving sins and of guiding men and
women on the paths of evangelical perfection. For the love of Christ and to advance more quickly in evangelical
perfection he walked in the footsteps of the Poverello of Assisi.
In the Piedmont of his time, Ignatius of Santhiá was father, confessor, counsellor and teacher of many - priests,
religious and lay people - who sought his wise and enlightened guidance. Even today he continues to remind everyone
of the values of poverty, simplicity and authentic Christian life.
3. "Peace be with you" (Jn 20,19.21), Jesus said on appearing to the Apostles in the Upper Room. Peace was the first
gift of the Risen Christ to the Apostles. The worthy son of the noble region of Calabria, Umile of Bisignano, became the
constant bearer of the peace of Christ which is also the principle that has to inspire social peace. He shared with
Ignatius of Santhiá the same dedication to holiness in the spiritual school of St Francis of Assisi and, in his turn, offered
a special witness of charity toward his neighbour.
In our society, in which all too often the traces of God seem to have vanished, Fra Umile is a joyful and encouraging
invitation to meekness, kindness, simplicity, and a healthy detachment from the transient goods of this world.
4. "To each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good" (I Cor 12,7).
This is what happened in the life of St Alphonsus of Orozco of the Order of St Augustine. Born in the town of Oropesa,
Toledo, religious obedience led him to pass through many Spanish cities and towns until he ended his days in Madrid.
His pastoral dedication to serving the poorest in the hospitals and prisons makes him a model for all who, under the
guidance of the Spirit, base their entire life on the love of God and of their neighbour, following the great
commandment of Jesus.
5. The action of the Holy Spirit is revealed in a special way in the life and mission of Mother Pauline. He inspired her to
build a home, with a group of young women friends, that was later called by the people the "Little Hospital of St
Virgilius" and destined to provide material and spiritual assistance to the suffering and the marginalized. Thus in
response to the plans of Providence, is born the first religious community in Southern Brazil: named the Congregation
of the Little Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. It was in this hospital that "being-for-others" became the guiding
motive for Mother Pauline. In service to the poor and the suffering, she became a manifestation of the Holy Spirit who is
"the best comforter; the soul's most welcome guest, sweet refreshment here below" (Sequence).
6. "O most blessed Light, fill the interior of the hearts of your faithful ". The words of the Sequence are a beautiful
summary of the life of Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello and explain its extraordinary spiritual richness.
Guided by divine grace, the new saint was concerned to accomplish God's will with fidelity and coherence. With
boundless confidence in the Lord's goodness, she abandoned herself to his "loving Providence", deeply convinced, as
she liked to repeat, that one must "do everything for love of God and to please him". This is the precious inheritance
that St Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello left to her spiritual daughters that today is offered to the entire Christian
7. "Come, Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love" (Gospel Acclamation).
Let us make our own this invocation of today's liturgy. The Holy Spirit radically transformed the Apostles who out of fear
had locked themselves into the Upper Room, making them fervent heralds of the Gospel. Down through the ages, the
Spirit continues to support the Church in her evangelizing mission, raising up in every age courageous witnesses to the
With the Apostles, the Blessed Virgin Mary received the gift of the Spirit (cf. Acts 1,14). With her, and in communion
with the new saints, let us also implore the miracle of a new Pentecost for the Church. For the humanity of our time let
us ask an abundance of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Come Holy Spirit, enkindle the hearts of your faithful! Help us to spread the fire of your love in the world. Amen!
Amabile Lucia Visintainer
|CANONIZATION OF 5
HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II
Solemnity of Pentecost
Sunday, 19 May 2002
Research and write up contributed
by a distant cousin Mary Anne