Venerable Giovanna Profilio

Venerable Giovanna ProfilioAlso known as

  • Sister Florenzia


Fourth daughter of Giuseppe Profilio and Nunziata Marchese, a pious family who provided her a solid Christian education and example of being active in parish life; her brother Anthony became a priest. Upon the death of her father in 1895, Giovanna and her family emigrated from Italy to Sullivan Street in New York in March 1896 to find work and a better life. Giovanna began work in a factory but worshipped at a local Franciscan convent, and was drawn to their spirituality. She joined the Tertiary Franciscan Sisters of Alleghany, New York, on 22 January 1898, taking the name Sister Florenzia.

In 1904, her mother, for health reasons, and the rest of the family returned to Italy. On 7 February 1905, at the invitation of Archbishop Francesco Maria Raiti, Bishop of Lipari, Italy, Giovanna returned to Italy to start a new community in the service of the diocese and the people of her island home. On 1 November 1905 she founded the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Lipari to serve poor families, orphans and the elderly. On 2 August 1906 Giovanna made her perpetual vows, and served as Superior General of the Sisters for the rest of her life.

Growth was intially slow as there were few vocations in Lipari, and there were money troubles. But Mother Florenzia trusted God to provide, and by June 1922 they had started another community in Acireale, Italy. The Sisters eventually had communities in Italy, Brazil and Peru. They received a decree of praise from the Vatican on 25 April 1949, and definitive approval of their Constitution on 7 March 1958. They continue their good works today operating in kindergartens, schools of all types, orphanages, hospitals, summer camps, working with the abandoned elderly and disabled, helping in parishes and teaching the faith.




Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Venerable Giovanna Profilio“. CatholicSaints.Info. 8 January 2020. Web. 21 April 2021. <>