Maria Assunta Ricciardi – Sister Maria di San Giuseppe
Assunta Ricciardi had just turned 17 when, on October 4th, 1922, she travelled almost 900 km from San Bartolomeo in Galdo (a town in the province of Benevento). Assunta arrived in Alba where her sister Annunziata had already been living for one year.
On February 10th, 1924 Assunta was among the eight chosen to begin the journey of the new family that on March 25th, with the vestition and profession of private vows, will be officially known as the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master. Assunta received the name of Sister Maria di San Giuseppe. She would be an icon and memory of the devotion to St Joseph which had been deeply felt since the beginnings of the Pauline Family.
From the recollections of the other sisters, she had a mild character, she prayed a lot, she was good to all. However, because of the fragility of her health, she was weakened by the hard work on making bricks and doing the laundry at the Cherasca river.
Fr Alberione and the Superiors followed her with great understanding and kindness. They accompanied her closely in her choice to return to her family in 1929, before taking her public vows.
Assunta continued to have a good relationship with the Pious Disciples through communication with her sister Annunziata, Sr. M. Nazarena, who also gave a great contribution of prayer, work, and sacrifice. She was committed for many years to working in Alba making bread. Sr. M. Nazarena, stricken with paralysis, after a long life of suffering, died in Sanfrè, in 1945. She was 42 years of age.