Leontina Sotgiu

An activist avant-garde

Leontina Sotgiu spent her human affair through the bravery and the dedication of a woman who did not stop fighting against the evil opposing her strenuously the good.

For understanding the numerous inexplicable events of her life, stayed with her Father Sanna of the convent of Saint Maria in Betlem of Sassari and Father Manzella.

So, the spiritual education received allowed her to face, thanks to bravery and dedication to the God’s will, the events that put to the test her physique and her mind.

Leontina Sotgiu was born in Sassari on 13th January 1882, in a copious family. Her father worked as a marshal of the Finance Police and her mother worked as a tailor.

Some years later, all her family proved the experience of the emigration to France, however without having fortune as they hoped.

Come back in Sardinia, Leontina, in the age of marriage, was asked to be married. She, a Franciscan tertiary and thought about a life dedicated to God, after having thought about it, refused the proposal, and that caused scandal and blame.

How, indeed, could Leontina allow a man to distract her from her passion, from the vocation that, since she was a child, made her say, as a protest against her grandmother, after having been unheeded by the priest during the First Communion, that when she will have grown up, she would have communicated not one, but two, three or maybe four times per day?

Such a personality and such a will would have been with difficulty removed from the project of life that was become definite for her.

When she was eighteen years old, she took a vow of chastity. Angela Marongiu, who stayed with Leontina during her spiritual education, was the witness of all the spiritual and mystic epiphanies that Leontina Sotgiu had during that part of her life.

Was she who told, through an abundance of details how Leontina, for many hours, had to bear the pains of the passion of Christ, that tormented her through the stigmata that she received but that were hidden.

For this reason, Leontina asked Father Manzella to take the vow of Victim, namely, to devote herself to pain for saving the spirits. However, she did not take part to a religious order, although she desired it fervently. Father Manzella advise her to live in family, at the Bishop of Iglesias, Monsignor Pirastru with his sister Maria. In this domestic atmosphere, Leontina carried on her spiritual education and her mission as a channel between earth and sky, dedicating herself to good and to deliverance in the small community of modest life and of prayer of Iglesias.

Leontina died suddenly, on 28th September 1957 leaving a profound and concrete memory of herself in eight volumes of documents, collected for the process of beatification that began in 1982.

For Leontina, true activist of faith, a steady and combative woman, prayer was what for Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus, an “impulse of heart, a simple gaze thrown towards the sky, a shout of gratitude and of love in the test like in joy”. Humility, a foundation of prayer, can explain alone the sense of this woman’s life; her total cohesion to the sacrifice of Christ for mankind, makes her become the sacrificial victim. A model of generosity led to the extreme consequences.

She represents an example of love, for everybody; the sacrifice for the common good, a value today rare, but redeeming. Such a virtue, completely feminine, is as heroic as less it seems. It was born and it increases in the dark, like a seed in the depth of the land, and, in the light of the day, it shows a miracle of simplicity and beauty, but only for who is able to see the free gift.

 

 

01 March 2016

Alessandra Carbognin
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