The story of Sr Carmelina Tarantino, daughter of Saverio Tarantino and Annunziata Fiore, is that of a truly unique young emigrant. You see her portrayed on the bed: her chair, with her hair loose on her shoulders, the Crucifix in her hands and the Passionist dress. Daughter of a large family of Liveri, near Naples, who emigrated to Canada in 1964. A contemporary of ours that has known the labors of detachment from the homeland and the insecurity of the future.
The Tarantino: one of those families who are gone: 11 children, lots of mouths to feed and little work. Towards the 50s and 60s, on the eve of the Italian economic boom, some brothers decide to emigrate. The destination was Canada. Carmelina saw them starting one by one and finally in 1961 it's up to her too. She was a beautiful girl, practical, cheerful, playful, mature and independent. The hardships of life have strengthened her. She was hungry for prayer and spiritual values. God was for her a living presence and His mystery an attraction stronger than the others. Love the poor.
She was a beautiful girl and many young people woo her but Carmelina does not feel attracted by marriage. She awaits the sign of God. This comes: She emigrates to Canada where other brothers and sisters were working.
In 1960 she had begun to suffer pain and a persistent headache, various ailments, including the impossibility of sleeping at night. Family members were alarmed.
Carmelina was very loved and cares about her. Then begins a long pilgrimage from one doctor to another and the opinions were contradictory. No one could diagnose her illness. The brothers then decide taken her with them to Canada to change the air and look for the cause of her illness. A journey without return.
Carmelina arrives in Canada, the land of the three hundred thousand lakes, on July 4th, 1964. After long and exhausting research, finally the sentence: cancer. One leg was amputated. As the body consumes itself, she nourishes and expresses the desire to be religious.
But, who accepts a sick person? Everyone advises against it because the amputation has solved a problem but has opened up others. In Italy her parents will die without knowing the tragedy of their daughter whose usual place was the hospital.
But from this hospital Carmelina begins to attract so many people affected by her faith, her joy of living, her love for Jesus.
And Jesus Crucified who is shaping it in his image makes her a gift: to be religious. In ways that only Providence has made it known and met with the Passionist Sisters of St. Paul of the Cross who welcomed them together on November 26th, 1977.
She carried out her mission from the bed that becomes a professorship of life for many: straggling young people, broken families, children, friends. A person capable of starting up thousands of people as evidenced by the founding of the United Society in Toronto and the foundation of Teopoli.
She died on March 21st, 1992.
Her motto: Oh Jesus, suffering was my joy, the gift that made me meet you, the greatest love of my life. All the sufferings you ask me I am ready to take for your love.