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Maria Agnese Mazzardi

List of deceased Sisters

Date of death 09/03/2011

“I am preparing myself to meet the Lord…and perhaps He will leave me here a while longer, so that I can be truly ready.”

This is the phrase with which Sr. M. Agnese surprised and edified me, several days before my departure for Burundi-Rwanda, and that I keep as a final instruction, received during the last days of her presence among us. To prepare as she did for the most important meeting of a lifetime, is a very great gift the Lord gives to His sons and daughters. May each one of us be able to prepare ourselves at the opportune moment for this meeting!

Sr. M. Agnese, Luigina Mazzardi, was born at Nuvolera-Brescia, on September 4th 1926 of Lorenzo and Berta Barbera. She entered the Postulate on January 21st 1952 at Bedizzole-Bs and, 8 months later, on September 14th of the same year, she entered the Novitiate at Ste Foy-lès-Lyon. Two years later, on September 8th 1954, she pronounced her first vows.
After her first profession, Sr. M. Agnese returned to Italy and was assigned to the General House at Castelgandolfo (Rome) where she gave service as a cook and house manager. She returned to Bedizzole in 1956 and several months later, in August, she went to France and from there left for Algeria on September 21st. She stayed there two years.
In July 1958 she returned to France and, 4 months later, she left for the island of Futuna in Oceania where she arrived after traveling for a month on the sea. At Futuna Sr. M. Agnese remained for eight years, teaching at the primary school. On October 7th 1966 she was obliged to leave Futuna and go to New Caledonia for health reasons.
From that time on she was often troubled by problems of ill health, and over the years, she confronted this with a lot of faith and courage.

In 1967 her health was better and she gave service in the community of Thio in New Caledonia. In the same year she returned to Italy for a time of vacation with her family and then she went to France for a spiritual renewal and to take a course in dressmaking at Salesian Institute.
In October 1970 she left for Wallis (Oceania) and, in passing through New Caledonia she taught a course in housekeeping for several months. She stayed in Wallis for 6 years.
In 1976 Sr. M. Agnese returned to Italy to become the cook at Castelgandolfo. A year later she was in Brescia for more community service.
Sr. M. Agnese returned to New Caledonia in 1983 and did catechesis and parish animation at La Foa.
In May 1988 she returned to Brescia where she spent most of the time at the hospital, gravely ill. After a long convalescence, she could not be stopped from returning one more time to New Caledonia, and did catechetical work in the parish of St. Louis and gave service in the community of our senior sisters.
She returned to Italy for the last time in February 1999. Her health did not permit her to do much, but Sr. M. Agnese was attentive to welcoming people who came to the house and they were often amused to hear her speak Italian with a French accent.
Her smile and her enthusiasm in sharing her missionary life were with her always.
On September 8th 2004 Sr. M. Agnese celebrated 50 years of Missionary, Marist, and Religious life, in Brescia with Sr. M. Ivola.
During her time at Casa Immacolata Sr. M. Agnese continued to be missionary through her prayer to accompany and support the sisters in the front line and all those who were in need.
Her health continued to deteriorate and she was obliged to stay in her room most of the time. Lately, as her strength diminished, Sr. M. Agnese gave witness to the manner in which the Lord takes possession of the lives of those who surrender completely to Him, even in suffering.
There was a visible change in her manner of being. Irritability, understandable because of the state of her health, gave way to peace, and a continuing sense of gratitude. The word “thank you” was often on her lips for her Sisters, and for Gloria and Genziana, who accompanied her and cared for her so lovingly. A great serenity was evident on her face.
After three days of semi-coma, Sr. M. Agnese died at Brescia, on March 9th 2011, Ash Wednesday at 3:40pm.

What Sr. M. Agnese told me was true:
“ I am preparing myself to meet the Lord…and perhaps He will leave me here a while longer, so that I can be truly ready.”
The Lord had truly prepared her, little by little for her meeting with Him. During the long years He had purified her through suffering, as gold is purified by fire. And she has borne witness for us that suffering, often instinctively avoided, then becomes a very high means of encounter with God, if it is placed in His hands and lived in union with Him.

Thank you, Sr. M. Agnese for the gift of your life. Thank you for your docility to the action of God. May that docility become ours and that of so many young people who are searching for meaning to give to their existence. May the Lord welcome you into His joy and His peace. May you celebrate the eternal banquet with Him and with so many loved ones who have preceded you. Amen.

Sr Grazia Anna Morelli, smsm
Provincial