Saint Maria Bertilla Boscardin

Saint Maria Bertilla BoscardinAlso known as

  • Ann Francis Boscardin
  • Anna Francesca Boscardin
  • Maria Bertilla



Born to a poor peasant family headed by Angelo Boscardin who, by his own account, was a violently abusive drunk. Anna had little education, was simple and innocent, and was considered mentally slow; referred to as the goose (as in, “silly as a….”). Worked as a house servant in her youth. Joined the Sisters of Saint Dorothy, Daughters of the Sacred Heart at Vincenza, Italy in 1904, taking the name Bertilla. After working in the convent‘s kitchen and laundry, she trained as a nurse in 1907.

Assigned to the hospital in Treviso, Italy, a facility managed by the Sisters of Saint Dorothy. Sister Maria worked in the children‘s ward, becoming a great favorite for her simple, gentle way with the young patients. She cared for wounded Italian soldiers during World War I, and was noted by local authorities for staying with patients in 1917 while the area was being bombed. A supervisor, angry at Bertilla’s growing reputation, reassigned her to the hospital laundry. Her congregation’s mother-general heard of this vindictive treatment, and transferred Bertilla back to nursing, making her the supervisor of the children‘s ward in 1919.






  • 11 May 1961 by Pope John XXIII
  • the crowds gathered for the recognition included family members and an unknown number of her patients

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Maria Bertilla Boscardin“. CatholicSaints.Info. 31 October 2021. Web. 9 December 2021. <>