THE APOSTOLATE OF ELIZABETH SANNA
Elizabeth, from a young age, wanted to direct all that she had and all that she would do to the glory of God and to the good of her neighbour. This attitude of hers deepened further under the spiritual guidance of Saint Vincent Pallotti and her life became a conscious participation in the apostolate of the Church which, according to Pallotti means to do what each person can and has to do for the greater glory of God, and for his/her own eternal salvation and that of the other person. All the good that was achieved by her: her prayers, her sufferings, her charitable service, the good advice and counsel given to her fellow human beings and other good things, all of these had an apostolic character. It is worth our while underlining at least some of the activities in a particular way. The prayers of Elizabeth had an apostolic character. She prayed for all the necessities of those who were most in need, above all, for the sick and for the dead, having an immense desire in her heart that all would be saved. And as Fr. Raphael Melia says, “she cried for the unhappy state of sinners, of infidels and of idolaters, that all of them would be finished with sin and that all would return to the bosom of Holy Mother Church”, and so all would be saved. From 1836 onwards, she took part in the Octave of the Epiphany, organized by Saint Vincent Pallotti, encouraging others to participate also and to pray.
Elizabeth’s sufferings had an apostolic character to them, and her sufferings were many. Some, no doubt, were attributable to her inability to return to her family. Other sufferings were on account of her illnesses as well as the oppression of the devil. She offered up all these together with her prayers and penitential practices as expiation for sins and to implore the salvation of all. Following the example of Pallotti, she prayed often and also offered her sufferings for the unity of Christians so that the whole world would be one fold and under one Shepherd.
One can say that Pallotti considered Sanna to be a sick person, a poor person, illiterate, and a saint who lived for the apostolate: the apostolate of prayer, of charity, of poverty, of suffering and, above all, of the imitation of Christ and of the Infinite Love of God.
The apostolic message of Blessed Elizabeth can be summed up in her desire, manifested to her spiritual director in the following words: “I want Heaven to be filled, Purgatory to be emptied and Hell to be closed”.
Blessed Elizabeth Sanna, pray for us.