Olga Gugelmo

Olga Gugelmo of the Mother of God
Daughters of the Church

Born on 10 May 1910 in Poiana Maggiore, Vicenza (Italy), Olga was a cheerful smiling child despite the deep suffering she underwent at the age of 6 when her beloved father Antonio was killed during the World War I.

Still a child, she was distinguished for her sensitivity towards the poor and her generosity in helping her mother, Candida Andretto, to look after the three younger brothers while continuing her studies with enthusiasm. At the age of 18, she completed her Teachers’ Training Course at the Institute of San Benedetto di Montagnana. She was also known as an eloquent catechism teacher in the Parish. 

She began her teaching profession as a primary school teacher in Valvasone, Friuli, then in San Luca, Marostica; from 1933 to 1934, she taught in Poiana. Besides teaching, she joyfully engaged herself in various charitable and apostolic activities.

As time passed she realized that her heart longed for something more. Ignited by the same ideal of Maria Oliva Bonaldo, on 16 July 1938, she decided to join the first group of the Daughters of the Church. Then on she was known as Olga of the Mother of God (‘Mother of God’ is the additional name that the Foundress gave Olga for her deep and tender love towards Our Lady).

During the few years she spent in the Institute, Olga proved that she had assimilated the charism of the Daughters of the Church. Even in the painful moments of her illness (she was struck by a serious meningitis), Olga kept a smiling face and was constantly listening to the Word of God to be obedient like Jesus, so that the Father’s will be accomplished ... that everyone be saved.

She was an ardent missionary who kept on praying and offering her sufferings for the Priests, the youth, the sick and the afflicted, the conversion of sinners. 

Mother Maria Oliva describes Olga’s intense relationship with God, especially in the Eucharistic encounter and in the long hours of her meditation: “Olga seemed lost in prayer; heart to heart with Jesus, heart to heart with Mary, always on her knees, apparently without effort ... From here flowed her apostolic ardour: the first to warm up her heart were the poor… There were also seminarians who would come to her for a word of encouragement and to be enlightened by “the nun who loved the Lord so much. She died on 11 April 1943, at the age of 33. This is what Olga promised before her death: I will do like Little Teresa… I will spend my heaven doing good on earth.

Olga is ever present in our midst with the example of a life totally given to God. Many people consider her a heavenly assistant and rely on her prayer. There is a continuous flow of people, young and old to her tomb in the cemetery of Mestre. Every year, on Sunday in Albis (II Sunday after Easter), in the church of San Girolamo, adjacent to our convent, a Holy Mass is celebrated with the participation of a large number of devotees of Olga. 

The postulation Bulletin Figlie della Chiesa, a quarterly publication that contains news on the Institute, also gives a report on the testimonies of people who have received graces or are recommended to the intercession of Olga.

On 31 October 2013, Pope Francis authorized the Prefect of the Congregation of Saints, His Eminence Cardinal Amato, to promulgate the Decree concerning the recognition of the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Olga of the Mother of God. In the Vatican statement, it is said that Olga lived the mystical contemplative ideal of Eucharistic adoration and of the apostolic service in the Parish. She is a young Venetian woman who did not do anything extraordinary, but who lived the daily life with deep faith and authentic love.

We invoke her intercession so that from her heavenly abode she may accompany and support especially those who are searching for a job, families in difficulty, the sick, and all who live in situations of hardship and poverty.