Sister Filomena

Sister Filomena (Elena) Rossi, was born in Florence on July 11, 1822. Her father was a coachman at the Secretariat of the government of the Grand duchy. She was still a child when her mother died. Her father remarried and he had a number of other children from his second wife. Elena lived with her father’s new family in the historic centre of Florence, in via 1, Palazzo Vecchio. She collaborated in caring for the house and for her brothers and sisters and she also worked in sewing and making hats.

In the meantime she began attending the meetings of the Tertiaries of the Servants of Mary. In 1858 she received the habit and the following year she made her profession. She dedicated herself to prayer and to charitable works. She also dedicated herself to the study of Christian, Marian and Servite spirituality.

In September-October 1861 she went to Treppio as a teacher of the children of the town. In 1863-64 she was nominated Superior of the community. She died at Treppio on March 24, 1878. Indeed, a man who lived in her day gave testimony of her, writing: “She did a great deal of good!” while a later author wrote: “…she left a good memory of herself” (see “Two Women and a Town” by Sister Philomena Spidale, Rome 2007).