Venerable Carla Ronci 

Lay Apostle (1936–1970)
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Venerable Carla Ronci  

Lay Apostle (1936–1970)  

Carla Ronci was born in Rimini, Italy. As a child, she termed herself “neither very good nor very naughty.” She dated her “conversion,” at fourteen, to her encounter with a group of Ursuline nuns working with abandoned children; they instilled in her a desire to serve God through other people.  

While working as a tailor, Carla threw herself into Catholic Action—a movement popular with young people seeking to live out their faith. With her vivacious personality, she soon became a leader. Happily scooting about on her Vespa motorbike, she visited the sick, organized religious education programs, and worked with children, helping them to know and love God. “I began to see Jesus in others,” she wrote. “I felt I could meet Jesus in the poor, the suffering, and little.”  

Confirmed in her vocation to pursue sanctity in the world, in 1962 she joined a secular institute, Mater Misericordiae, which allowed her to live a prayerful life while living at home. She felt a special mission to pray for priests, for their perseverance and faith.  

In 1969 she contracted lung cancer. “Lord,” she prayed, “you can no longer suffer in your own body, so take mine to continue your Passion and Redemption.” Her death followed on April 2, 1970. She whispered to her confessor, “Here he comes . . . Jesus smiles on me.” She was declared venerable in 1997.  

“I am happy to exist. I am content with everything that surrounds me because in everything I detect a gift of God. All the peace which fills and pervades my heart comes from possessing Jesus.” —Venerable Carla Ronci 

© Liturgical Press.

Robert Ellsberg

Robert Ellsberg is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Orbis Books and the author of several award-winning books, including All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time; Blessed Among All Women; and The Saints' Guide to Happiness.

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