Paola Frassinetti: Foundress of
the Sisters of St.Dorothy
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
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.
• 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,
• 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