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Blessed Nemesia Valle

Birth: June 26, 1847
Death: December 18, 1916
Beatification: April 25, 2004

Giulia Nemesia Valle (1847-1916) was born in Aosta, Italy, the first child of Anselmo Valle and Cristina Dalbar. She was schooled, catechized, and prepared for the Sacraments at home by a priest who was a friend of the family. At age eleven, Giulia was sent to a boarding school of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne-Anne Thouret in Besancon , France. There she learned French and gained household skills.
  On September 8, 1866 her father accompanied her to the order's novitiate at the Monastery of Saint Margaret in Vercelli. During Giulia's formation, she began to pray a prayer that would remain with her for the rest of her life: "Jesus, empty me of myself, let me be clothed in you. Jesus, for you I live and for you I die..." At the end of her novitiate, she received the religious name Nemesia, after the Roman martyr Nemesius, a deacon who was beheaded c. 260 because of his conversion to Christianity.
  Sister Nemesia was sent to Saint Vincent's Insitute at Tortona, where she worked in the elementary school, the boarding school, and the orphanage. At age forty she was elected superior of her community.
    After 36 years at Tortona, she moved to Borgano, near Turin, to work with novices in a new province of the Sisters of Charity. In the thirteen years before her death, she helped to form about five hundred novices.
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It was in the 16th century when France was terribly ravaged by political and religious wars when Vincent de Paul, who later became an ardent Apostle of Charity, was born. That was on April 24, 1581, in a remote village of Pouy, Landes at the southernmost part of France near the border of Spain. At an early age, he exhibited the qualities of kindness, generosity and great compassion for the poor. He was not only a bright but also a pious boy. He was only fifteen when he went to college, sixteen when he received the tonsure and at 20, he was ordained priest. That was on September 23, 1600. He offered his first mass in a small chapel in Buzet where he often prayed as a child. At 40, he was a wholly man of God; ready to give himself to the point of heroism in relieving the spiritual and material needs of the poor he saw everywhere. "I belong," he said "to God and to the poor".
Vincent suffered countless tribulations; he was sold in a slave market and accused as thief. The piety he practiced was simple, nourished on the words and example of Christ, and oriented towards action. He had excelled in practical judgment, but his gift, inspiring and working with others was, in a special way, the fruit of humility. He once said, "I have tried over and over again to find out the best means of living in union with God and in Charity with my neighbors, and I have never found anything that helped as much as humility- the lowering of oneself below everyone else, with the sense that is really worse than others, and the refusal to judge anyone". He made it a practice that, whenever two ways of saying something came to his mind, he chose the less brilliant.
In one of the many dialogue-conferences preserved in priceless notes by the Sisters, he said, "God has given me such a high esteem for simplicity that I call it my Gospel". He was always himself, whether with galley slaves or in the Council of Conscience, the selecting bishops for France. He was a great influence in the spiritual formation of St. Louise de Marillac who received from St. Francis de Sales the care of the Visitation nuns in Paris.
In 1625, he founded the Congregation of the Mission, also called Vincentians or Lazarists, to preach and educate priests. In 1633, he founded the "little company" of the Daughters of Charity which numbered around 54,000 all over the world. More than 600 are in the Philippines today.