Eight years ago, Sr. Anastacia changed her residence from Assisi to the city of Rieti in central Italy where she worked as a caregiver at the Casa di Riposo Santa Lucia of Rieti nursing home for the elderly.
In March, at the peak of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy, several elderly people at the house where Sr. Anastacia ministered contracted the disease.
Together with the staff and residents at the Nursing home, she was examined for the coronavirus.
“Sr. Anastasia’s COVID-19 test came out positive. Hardly a day after, she became seriously ill and was admitted to Rieti’s hospital, San Camillo De Lellis. On the evening of 29 March, her condition took a turn for the worst and she was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). It was to be a month-long, excruciating fight for her life,” Vatican News reported in reference to events leading to her death last Saturday, April 25.
Some residents of Italy’s Assisi and Rieti towns who knew Sr. Anastacia took to social media to express their affection and gratitude to “the African nun with a warm smile.”
“We shall forever remember your joy and readiness to always give testimony to your calling,” Lavocedelsilenzio wrote in a Facebook post in memory of Sr. Anastacia.
“Rest your limbs now returned to mother earth in colors glistening as a scarf made of silk…” reads another eulogy on Facebook.
Recalling her love and nostalgia for Africa, another resident of Rieti commented, “It was not possible for us to bid you farewell, but we know that where we could not be, our prayers arrived.”
According to a nun of the Poor Clares, Sr. Anastasia has “returned to Jesus, her spouse and only source of joy, after a terrible month of suffering from the coronavirus.”
The nun was laid to rest in Rieti, in the central region of Italy Monday, April 27, a day before another native of East Africa based in Italy, Bishop Emeritus of Kenya’s Meru Diocese, Silas Silvius Njiru died of COVID-19. Bishop Njiru had been residing at the Blessed Joseph Allamano house in Alpignano, Turin, Italy. He was aged 92.