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Date of Death 23/12/2022


Sister M.Eugenia GIACOMELLI smsm (Luigia GIACOMELLI) 

Born: 11th January 1928

Professed: 8th September 1949

Died: 23rd December 2022

It was you who created me in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, you know me to the depths. Ps 138

Luigia Giacomelli was born in Bovegno (Brescia) on January 11, 1928, the third of twelve children (5 brothers and 7 sisters) of Pietro GIACOMELLI and Domenica GATTA. When she arrived at the postulancy of the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary on September 15, 1946, Luigia was full of the enthusiasm of her 18 years.  She was part of the first group of applicants to start training in Italy, in Bedizzole. A new adventure began, despite all the uncertainties of the immediate post-war period. They had few material resources, but they were joyful, as evidenced by the photos of the inauguration of the house. Luigia was not discouraged, even when, without knowing a word of French, she was asked a few months later to continue her formation in France, as a novice, because they needed someone who knew how to milk cows. The house of the novitiate in Lyon was temporarily requisitioned and the sisters "moved" to the mountains. Luigia came from a rural background and learned early on how to work hard and be responsible, as she was the eldest daughter.  Yes, she agreed to milk the cows and would recount it later with a touch of humor. 

On September 8, 1949, Luigia made her first vows and took the name Sister Marie Eugenia. First mission: Wallis, at the service of the sick. She had not yet had any nursing training, but her love for mission made her available for any type of service. In 1956, she was asked to return to Italy to serve in the postulancy of Bedizzole, then in the novitiate. From 1959 to 1961 she studied professional nursing in Brescia and graduated. In 1962, she made her second novitiate and went on mission to Oceania: Futuna, Wallis, Vanuatu, New Caledonia. When she came to Europe for family leave and professional training, she agreed to serve where there was a need, such as in Saint-Victoret where she was a cook for a few months in 1974. 

Although not very talkative, Sister M.  Eugenia was very popular with people. She communicated with her eyes; she was sincere and direct, even at the risk of being "uncomfortable" for some. Her greatest joy was to have had the grace to devote fifty-five years of her long life to the mission in Oceania, and she was justifiably proud of it. 

Sister M. Eugenia was a woman of faith and prayer.  As our Constitutions say:   We contemplate Mary particularly in the simple hidden life of Nazareth and in the new-born Church, where she was the soul of the apostolic community while remaining in the background...  (cf. Const. 53).

In 2008, at the age of 80, Sr. M.  Eugenia left Oceania for good to serve the sick and elderly sisters of Casa Immacolata in Brescia until 2012. Then, slowly, her strength diminished, and a long period of illness began for her. Despite her suffering, she never complained. Casa Immacolata's employees remember above all her smile and her classic daily question: "How are you? What about your family?"

Even in her illness, Sister M.  Eugenia remained discreet and put the interests of others, of the sisters, of the community staff before her own. She was often seen praying in silence for the needs of the Congregation and the people who entrusted her with their prayer intentions.

During the last two months of her life, Sister M. Eugenia's health deteriorated to the point that she had to be admitted to the hospital where she died three days later.

Thank you, Sister M.  Eugenia, for your witness of a life entirely given to the Lord as Missionary, Marist and Religious. We bless you with the words that St. Clare of Assisi addressed to herself shortly before her death:

“Go safely, in peace, my blessed soul, for you have a good companion on your way!  For God who created you made you holy and, always looking upon you as a mother her little child, loved you with tender love”.


The Sisters of Casa Immacolata - Brescia -Italy