Sister Bellotti had celebrated her 110th birthday on Feb. 20, 2017 and received a special birthday greeting from Pope Francis.
“To the Reverend Sister Candida Bellotti, Sister Minister of the Sick, who with gratitude to God is celebrating her 110th birthday, the Holy Father Francis spiritually participates in the joy we all share for this happy occasion and sends warm congratulations and heartfelt wishes,” said the pontiff in his message at the time.
The Italian nun was 30 years older than Pope Francis. Her life spanned ten pontiffs: Pius X (1903-1914), Benedict XV (1914-1922), Pius XI (1922-1939), Pius XII (1939-1958), John XXIII (1958-1963), Paul VI (1963-1978), John Paul I (1978), John Paul II (1978-2005), Benedict XVI (2005-2013), and Pope Francis (2013- ).
Sister Bellotti was born in 1907 in the province of Verona in Italy. She belonged to the Congregation of San Camillus de Lellis, which observed the 150th anniversary of the death of its founder, Blessed Maria Domenica Brun Barbantini, in May.
“Love, love and love still more, with joy,” is the advice she gave everyone, especially the new generations. She had a special invitation for young people: “Have confidence in the future, and strive to the utmost to accomplish your desires.”