An heroic nun who hid scores of Jews from the Nazis during World War Two, is being considered for canonisation by the Vatican.
Mother Riccarda Beauchamp Hambrough who died in 1966, has been nominated as a Catholic Saint because of the heroic virtue she demonstrated during her lifetime.
Now Vatican historians and theologians are to study her file, to consider how strong the evidence is for sainthood.
Mother Riccarda already has the status of ‘Servant of God’, and now she is being investigated by the Holy See’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which is an important step along the way to becoming a saint.
If scholars consider that the nun did live a life of “heroic virtue”, the Pope will declare the London-born sister to be “Venerable” and a search will begin for two miracles to first declare her first ‘Blessed’ and then finally a saint.
Mother Riccarda belonged to the Bridgettine order, and principally known for her activities in 1943, when the Nazis took over the running of Rome where she lived, and began to round up the Jewish population for deportation to concentration camps.
Despite her convent being situated directly opposite a police station, Mother Riccarda managed to save the lives of about 60 Jews by hiding them in the Casa di Santa Brigida.
She carried out her courageous actions in the knowledge that she faced execution if the refugees were discovered by the Nazis or their Italian allies.
She was dubbed 'mammina' or 'little mother' by refugees who remember her 'sweetness and sympathy.'
Born in the UK in 1887, she was christened in Brighton aged four, after her parents converted to Catholicism. She moved to Rome in her 20s, and went on to become the deputy to the superior of her order. She died in Rome, aged 79.
January 17th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross