When their little child Antonietta Meo was four years old, her parents noticed a swelling on her left leg. They did not paid much attention to it thinking that it might be a small injury caused from one of her falls. Finally at the last stage, the doctors told them that the little girl was having an aggressive form of bone cancer. At the age of five her leg was amputated.
She was given an artificial leg and began attending classes. In the evenings her mother used to read Catechism for her. During this time she would write letters to Jesus, Mary and the saints. She then would place it under the statue of baby Jesus in her room with the hope that He could read those letters at night. She had written 100 such as letters. In those letters the five year old child was admitting her sins. She also was offering herself to God.
On the eve of Christmas in 1936, she received her first Holy Communion. Even in the deadly pain with her artificial leg she knelt respectfully through Mass with folded hands when she received Jesus for the first time.
Tumor was spreading throughout her body and pain was getting worse. She could not even sit up in her bed. She offered the pain to Jesus. In a letter she said that she offer her leg to Him. “The pain is like fabric, the stronger it is the more value it has,” Meo said.
Few days before her death she had written a letter to Jesus. In it she asked Him to bless everyone she loved. On July 1937, in her death bed, the little girl begged her mother not to cry. She told her mother that Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus had told her that her time had come. At last, the six year old met death with a beautiful smile.
On December 17, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI declared her as venerable. Her life was a paragon for every suffering child. If she was to be canonized, she would become the Church’s youngest saint.