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A Voice for Mary

Dr. Monica Montenero

A Voice for Mary

Healing the sick has always been a mission and a vocation for Dr. Monica Montenero.

Born and raised in Rome as a daughter and granddaughter of physicians, Monica served much of her career as an anatomical pathologist traversing the globe to recover body tissue from deceased donors to save the lives of cancer patients, burn victims, and others in critical need.

Similarly, commitment to the Catholic faith has been a longstanding tradition in her family, so much so that she initially aspired to become a nun as she completed her secondary education in a religious boarding school.

But it wasn’t until she was forced to endure a harrowing home invasion many years later that Monica fully embraced her personal relationship with the Lord through the intercession of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. Today, in continuation of her life’s work, she dedicates herself to the spiritual healing of others through the Blessed Mother’s uplifting message to St. Catherine Labouré.

Dr. Monica enthusiastically traces the genesis of her spiritual epiphany to a terrifying night in Rome in 2010. Although she was living in the United States at the time, she had traveled to her native city on a medical assignment.

“I was sleeping in my mother’s home, and I always sleep with a window open,” she said. “And in the middle of the night somebody came and tried to kill me. I was the victim of this terrible crime. … I was physically attacked and full of blood.”

Dr. Monica suffered injuries throughout her body, including severe neck trauma, and completely lost her ability to speak. A series of surgeries and intense therapy helped her return to work eventually. But after two years, she chose to retire and move to Madrid to be near her newly married son, Raffaele, and his Spanish bride, Macarena.

It was there that she attended daily services at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish Church and where her devotion to Our Lady began to flourish.

Yet, tragedy struck again in 2018. While visiting a resort in the Italian Alps with her son and daughter-in-law to celebrate her 65th birthday, Dr. Monica was struck and severely injured by a wayward snowboarder. Months of recovery followed, during which a volunteer from her home parish brought a miniature Miraculous Medal Shrine to her bedside for continual prayer and devotion to Our Lady. Dr. Monica did not pray for her own healing.

“I told Her, ‘I’m going to stay like I am and I don’t mind,’” Monica recalled. “‘I just want you to please help my son and daughter-in-law to have a baby,’ because they were having difficulty having a baby.”
Within a year, Monica had miraculously regained her ability to speak.

“I really love to sing when I’m in church, even though I don’t have a great voice,” she said. “Now it’s great because I can sing in church. Like St. Augustine said, ‘When you sing in church, you pray twice.’”

And not long after that, Macarena delivered a beautiful baby girl they named Costanza. Eventually, the young couple would have a son they named Filippo.

When her son and daughter-in-law relocated to the United States, Dr. Monica joined them and discovered The Miraculous Medal Shrine in Philadelphia. Witnessing the Shrine first-hand has inspired her to start a visitation program in her new home parish in New York City, where volunteers bring a miniature Shrine to the home-bound faithful.

“It is really beautiful to be able to speak. It is really beautiful,” she said. “Now I want to use my voice as much as I can to just spread the word, to tell all the people that She is the person to dedicate your life to because She is listening to you and She brings all your needs to God.”

Visit https://miraculousmedal.org/news-events/st-vincents-rosary-walk/to learn more about St. Vincent’s Rosary Walk and Our Lady of Knock Shrine. Contact Megan Brogan at mbrogan@cammonline.org to support this cause.