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Sister Maria Laura Mainetti, stabbed to death 21 years ago by “three girls influenced by a satanic sect,” is beatified…

The three girls later confessed that they had originally planned to kill the pastor, but decided that because he was larger, it would prove too difficult. Investigators said the girls’ notebooks were filled with satanic writings, and that they had made a blood oath some months earlier.

Mainetti’s killers were convicted and imprisoned. The killers have since been freed from prison, and have started families — changing their names and moving to large Italian cities, according to the newspaper Corriere della Sera.

One of the girls who killed Mainetti wrote a letter to her religious community after her conviction. Milena De Giambattista said in the letter that the memory of Sr. Mainetti forgiving her as she was killing her stayed with her.

“I can have of her only a memory of love. And in addition to this, it also allowed me to believe in something that is neither God nor Satan, but which was a simple woman who defeated evil,” Milena wrote.

“Now in her I find comfort and the grace to endure everything. I always pray and I am sure she will help me become a better person.”

After her release from prison in 2006, Milena was a guest for several years of the Exodus communities in the area of Verona — residences for the prevention and treatment of drug addiction, founded by Fr. Antonio Mazzi.

Mazzi once said, as recounted by Amedeo Mainetti, the murdered nun’s brother, that Milena was “fully aware of what she did and at the same time repentant and convinced that she can be reborn and recover better and better.”

Sr. Laura Mainetti’s vestition ceremony in 1959. /
Sr. Laura Mainetti’s vestition ceremony in 1959. /

In Sr. Mainetti’s diary on the day of her perpetual profession of vows, she wrote: “Give me your feelings, Jesus, those of the Beatitudes: the poor who trusts, abandons himself/the child who feels loved by him/the affliction that is participation in that of Christ and is salvation/Mercy, Benevolence, Purity of body and heart, Humility.”

“To serve Christ is to reign: Here I am… The joy of my service every instant in conformity with Your Divine Will.”

Msgr. Balatti, Chiavenna’s former pastor, told Vatican News: “The murder served to reveal a luminous figure that, otherwise, few would have known, as always happens with so many faithful servants of the Gospel.”

“At the beginning, there were some reservations about the process of beatification, but we insisted because this event was a gift for the entire Church. The gift, that is, of showing the world what good is and that good cannot be destroyed by evil.”

“Evil, human wickedness, can take your physical life, but it cannot steal and destroy love. This is a fundamental truth, not just for believers.”

“The girls themselves came up against good and realized that they had lost. What seemed in fact to be a defeat for the nun, was instead a victory. And the beatification confirms it.”

/ Live-stream screenshot.
/ Live-stream screenshot.

In his homily, Cardinal Semeraro said that with her life, Mainetti produced “a photocopy of the Gospel.”

“Our martyr wrote that her spiritual path was very simple, you must do something beautiful for others. I felt that I would give full meaning to my life, she said again. Holiness is like that, it is not the fruit of human effort, but it sprouts like a little flower on the lawn,” the cardinal observed.

“Our martyr chose the all, the greatest, true charity. The soil for the flowering of holiness is not the exceptional, but fidelity in daily life.”

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