Blessed Enrichetta Alfieri

Blessed Enrichetta AlfieriAlso known as

  • Sister Maria Angela
  • Henrietta Alfieri
  • prisoner 3209
  • Mother of San Vittore
  • Angel of San Vittore
  • La Mamma di San Vittore



From childhood Enrichetta felt a call to religious life, and joined the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joan Antida Thouret on 20 December 1911. She worked as a kindergarten teacher in Vercelli, Italy, but was forced to quit when she developed Pott’s disease, a form of tuberculosis of the spine, in 1917. On 25 February 1923 she was miraculously cured by a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France through the intercession of Mary Immaculate.

She recovered so completely that on 24 May 1923 Sisters Maria Angela was assigned to prison ministry at San Vittore Prison in Milan, Italy. Her work with the prisoners was a great success, and she became known as the Mother and Angel of San Vittore, and was named the superior of the Sisters there in 1939.

She was there when it became an SS headquarters and prison for Jews, priests, nuns and resistance workers who were fighting the Axis powers of World War II. She and the Sisters helped them by smuggling in supplies, smuggling out messages and working with Church authorities to intervene for the prisoners, saving many in the process. On 23 September 1944 a message from a prisoner was intercepted that was director to Enrichetta, and she was arrested for spying and sentenced to death or imprisonment in Germany. Church officials, including Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster, Archbishop of Milan, intervened for her, and she was transferred to the Sisters‘ house in Brescia, Italy where she wrote a memoir of her imprisonment. On 7 May 1945, at the end of the war, she was re-assigned to the San Vittore where she administered to prisoners of war – including the former jailers.





Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Enrichetta Alfieri“. CatholicSaints.Info. 22 November 2015. Web. 26 October 2016. <>