Maria Orsola Bussone was a young woman from Vallo Torinese, Piedmont, Italy, who was declared a Servant of God in December 2000.

Servant of God

Maria Orsola Bussone Focolare Movement (hc)

Born 2 October 1954(1954-10-02)

Vallo Torinese, Italy

Died 10 July 1970(1970-07-10) (aged 15)

Ca' Savio di Venezia near Venice

Nationality Italian
Education High school
Occupation Student
Website of Santi & Beati (italian

Maria Orsola Bussone came from a family of blue collar workers. Her father owned a car repair office and her mother was a basic tailor (a "sarta"). Since her childhood she attended with great participation to the activities in her parish and could be present to several meetings of young Italian people in the Gen Movement, the young's section of Focolare Movement. The spirituality of that movement impressed very much the young girl, that in a letter sent to Chiara Lubich, the founder of the "focolarini", said that she wanted to inspire all her life to the unconditional love towards other people, letting "God use me as He wants... because that's the only thing that's worth in our life...".

In July 1970 Maria Orsola, who liked to play guitar and to sing with other young people of her parish, went to a trip near to Venice, as an animator in the parish school-camp located at Ca' Savio.

During this stay a trivial incident (She died of an electrical discharge while she dried hair with a defective hair-dryer) provoked her death when she was only 15 years old. This happened precisely in the area of Cavallino-Treporti.

On 26 May 1996 Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini (Turin's archbishop), opened a diocesan inquiry in order to begin a beatification process, that closed with a positive ending on 17 December 2000. On 21 December 2000 the canonical trial was transferred to Vatican, to the section Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Pope John Paul II, in a speech to Focolarini followers gathered in the Olympic Stadium in Turin on 3 September 1988 told: You quote Maria Orsola, a girl from the area of Lanzo that told to her parish priest: “I would even arrive to give my life, in order to make young people understand how beautiful is to love God!” And God, when She was sixteen years old took her as She had promised. Well, I notice that in this (religious) company of yours there is more than a defense: there is the choice to let grow one's love towards God, in absolute terms, talking directly with God, accepting to make a gift of our own's life…

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