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Meet Sandra Sabattini, a 22-year-old soon to be beatified


Sabattini was full of life and wanted to serve the poor as a medical missionary.

Alessandra (“Sandra”) wasn’t content with living an ordinary life. From the time of her early childhood, she desired a life of holiness, a desire fostered by her parents Giuseppe and Agnese Sabattini.

Starting when she was 10 years old, Sandra kept a diary, in which she wrote, “A life lived without God is just a way of passing time, whether it’s boring or fun, time to be filled in while waiting for death.”

Two years later in 1974 she met Servant of God Oreste Benzi, founder of the Pope John XXIII Community in Italy. That summer she spent time volunteering at the Madonna delle Vette home in Canazei, helping young people with disabilities. It left a profound mark upon her soul and she later said to her mother, “We worked till we dropped, but these are people I’ll never leave.”

As a teenager she would frequently use the “pocket money” from her parents to give to the poor, leaving almost nothing for herself. Sabattini’s heart was focused on the most vulnerable of society and wanted to help them in any way possible.

She graduated from high school in 1980 and then attended the University of Bologna to study medicine. It was her dream to be a medical missionary in Africa, tending the needs of those who didn’t have anyone to care for them.

While attending a meeting of the Pope John XXIII Community, she met a young man named Guido Rossi, and they fell in love, sharing the same ideals. They became engaged to be married and were joined together by their love of God and the poor.

Sabattini always made a point to pray on a daily basis, often getting up early in the morning to pray in the silence of a nearby church. She would kneel or sit on the floor in an act of humility, spending an intimate time with Jesus.

She wrote, “Charity is the synthesis of contemplation and action, it is the point at which heaven joins earth, where human beings join with God.”

Then in April 1984 she was on her way to attend a meeting of the Pope John XXIII Community and after leaving her car, she was hit by another car and died in the hospital on May 2, 1984, at the age of 22.

She left a profound legacy of a youthful heart on fire with God’s love. Her life has inspired many, because of her apostolic zeal and love of the poor.


On October 2, 2019, Pope Francis approved a miracle through the intercession of Sandra, paving the way for her future beatification. One more miracle is required before she can be declared a saint.


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