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Blessed Paula Gambara-Costa

  • Broadcast in Religion
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Rebroadcast of the long running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour", a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org

Blessed Paula Gambara-Costa -- Almighty God destined this holy woman to be a special pattern for Christian wives and widows in bearing the trials and difficulties of their state. Paula was born in Brescia, in northern Italy, of a very noble family. Even in her youth she showed a special love for solitude and a quiet, devout life. Prayer and spiritual reading were her delight, and she would gladly have changed her place in the world for life in a convent. But since her parents promised her in marriage to the young count Louis Costa, lord of Benasco, Paula recognized the will of God in this arrangement and complied with the wishes of her parents.

After the wedding the count conveyed his young wife in great pomp to the castle at Benasco in the province of Piedmont. He himself was quite fond of gaiety and amusement, and would have drawn his inexperienced wife into the whirl of worldly pleasures, for in the beginning she believed it a duty to yield in everything to the tastes of her husband. But Blessed Angelo of Chiavasso, whom Blessed Paula Gambara-Costa had chosen as her confessor, kept her on the path of Christian virtue. He advised her to join the Third Order, and under his direction she learned more and more to despise the pomp and pleasure of the world. As far as possible she devoted her services to the poor, even depriving herself of food in order to bring it to the sick.

She used the saints’ way of revenging herself. Ridicule and contempt she opposed with heroic patience and the meekness of an angel. The humiliations and persecutions she had to endure, she offered up for the conversion of her husband, whose disorderly life was her heaviest cross. She also prayed fervently and performed rigorous penances for the same intention. Finally her prayer was heard.