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Paola Frassinetti: Foundress of the Sisters of St.Dorothy


Paola Frassinetti

Foundress of the
Sisters of St Dorothy

Only daughter of John and Angela Frassinetti, was raised in a pious environment. Paula was the only daughter among four brothers who eventually became priests. Paula’s mother died when the girl was nine years old. In need of a substitute mother, Paula turned to Our Lady.

One of Paula’s aunts moved in to help with the family, but she died three years later, and at age twelve, Paula took over as homemaker.

Because of the endless chores at home, Paula was not able to attend school. However, each night her father and brothers would pass on to her what they had learned that day. Likewise Paula was able to receive a good education.

At age 20 she developed respiratory problems, and moved in with Her brother Don Giuseppe who was serving in the Parish of Quinto in Northern Italy.

When she recovered, Paula, with her brother’s help, opened a parochial school for poor girls in the area. In 1834, with a group of like-minded young women, she founded the Sisters of Saint Dorothy , a congregation dedicated to education on a wide spectrum.

The Dorotheans soon opened foundations in Italy, Portugal, and Brazil, and were noted for their work with the sick in the cholera epidemic that ravaged northern Italy in 1835. The Sisters received papal approval in 1863.

Paola’s Biography

• 3 March 1809 at Genoa, Italy

• 11 June 1882 of pneumonia following a series of strokes
• entombed at Saint Onofria, the Dorothean motherhouse in Rome, Italy
• body found incorrupt in 1906

• 15 August 1928 by Pope Pius XI (decree of heroic virtues)

• 8 June 1930 by Pope Pius XI

• 11 March 1984 by Pope John Paul II




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