Sainte Marie-Crucifiée de Rose
Paola nait le 6 novembre 1813 dans le palais de ses parents, Clement di Rosa et Camilla Albani. Elle grandit dans un environnement pieux, sa mère assiste à l'eucharistie et fait sa visite au saint sacrement tout les jours, elle lui apprend aussi la charité envers les plus pauvres. Son jeu préféré est de faire décorer des autels, en particulier, celui de la Vierge.
En 1824, Paola perd sa mère qu'elle aime tendrement et s'en remet à la Vierge. Son père l'envoie chez les sœurs de la Visitation parfaire son éducation, sa sœur ainée s'y trouve déjà, et deviendra religieuse dans ce couvent. En plus de la prière établie par les pensionnaires, elle se lève deux heures avant les autres pour prier et lire des livres spirituelles et passe la récréation de l'après midi devant le Saint Sacrement.
Après 5 ans à la visitation, elle rentre chez elle à 17 ans, elle écrit avec son directeur spirituelle un programme spirituel. Son père qui tient une filature, lui propose de s'occuper du pensionnat des jeunes filles des campagnes qui viennent travailler la semaine. Paola se met à leurs côté comme une sœur, les écoute, leur fait le catéchisme, elle crée aussi un patronage.
En 1836, le choléra s'abat sur Brescia, Paola qui a 22 ans, écrit une lettre à son père pour le convaincre de sa laisser soigner les malades, Son père accepte. Avec une compagne, Gabrielle Echenos, (qui ne la quittera plus) elle soigne et accompagne dans la mort les cholériques, le frère de Paola sera atteint et décédera. Après l'épidémie, Paola continuera à visiter, avec quelques amies, l'hôpital des femmes.
En 1840, cela fait 3 ans qu'elle connait le milieu hospitalier, le 18 mai de la même année, elle se rend avec ses compagnes à l'hôpital et furent reçu officiellement comme infirmières, c'est le début de la fondation des Ancelles de la Charité. le père de Paola achète une maison non loin de l'hôpital, la chapelle est terminée en 1845.
Le 7 septembre 1850, elle part à Rome pour faire approuver son institut et passe par le sanctuaire de Lorette pour que la Vierge intercède pour elle. A Rome, elle "découvre" l'adoration du saint sacrement exposé et décide de l'adopter pour sa congrégation. Le pape Pie IX la reçoit et la bénit.
Le 18 juin 1852, la prise d'habit est officielle en présence de l'évêque, elle prend le nom de sœur Marie-Crucifiée, le saint sacrement est exposé à la vénération des fidèles et le restera. L'institut s'agrandira et sœur Marie-Crucifiée donnera toujours un exemple édifiant de charité et d'amour de Jésus-Hostie. Elle décède le 15 décembre 1855.
Son corps repose à la maison-mère des Ancelles à Brescia, Via del Cavalletto, 9.
Béatifiée par Pie XII le 26 mai 1940. Canonisée par le même Pape, le 12 juin 1954.
Sainte Marie-Crucifiée de Rose
Vierge, fondatrice des Servantes de la Charité (✝ 1855)
Maria Crocifissa di Rosa, fondatrice de la congrégation des Ancelles de la Charité.
Née en 1813 dans une famille de commerçants aisés à Brescia, en Italie, elle fit preuve dès sa jeunesse d'une grande piété et d'amour des pauvres. Lors de l'épidémie de choléra de 1836, elle se voua de tout cœur aux soins des victimes et put accueillir les premières compagnes pour sa future Congrégation des Servantes de la Charité. Fondée en 1839, celle-ci fut approuvée douze ans plus tard par Pie IX. Par amour du Christ souffrant, elle ajouta à son nom le titre de Crucifiée. Canonisée par Pie XII en 1954.
À Brescia en Lombardie, l’an 1855, sainte Marie-Crucifiée (Paule De Rosa), vierge, qui dépensa toutes ses richesses et se dépensa elle-même pour le salut de l’âme et du corps de son prochain et fonda l’Institut des Servantes de la Charité.
St. Maria Crocifissa di Rosa was the founder of the Handmaids of Charity in Brescia, Italy, in 1839.[She was both beatified and canonized by Pope Pius XII. She was born as Paolina Francesca di Rosa on November 6, 1813, in the city of Brescia, Italy.First educated in a convent by the Visitation Sisters, she left school after the death of her mother when she was seventeen years old to take care of her father, who ran a saw mill with numerous employees. She helped the women and girls working there. During the cholera epidemic in 1836 she worked in the hospital in Brescia. She founded a school for the hearing impaired and created programs to assist women in poverty. - Her dedication led to her nomination as mother superior. Her spirituality was grounded in the imitation of Christ’s suffering on the Cross. This was the basis of her teaching and contemplation. In her love of the crucified Christ, she translated her dedication to him towards the suffering members of his Mystical Body. In 1840, at age 30, taking the name of Maria Crocifissa di Rosa, she founded a new religious congregation, the Handmaids of Charity, whose chief apostolate was the care of the poor, the sick and the suffering. Papal approval was granted in 1850. Mary died at Brescia in 1855. She was beatified and canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1954.
Few are called to serve God by great actions, but all are bound to strive after perfection in the ordinary actions of their daily life.
Lord, hear the prayers of those who recall the devoted life of the virgin St. Maria Crocifissa di Rosa. Guide us on our way and help us to grow in love and devotion as long as we live. We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
St. Maria Crocifissa Di Rosa
The pounding on the barricaded door of the military hospital sent every heart thudding in terror. In the middle of the war in Brescia (Italy) in 1848, the wounded, sick, and those who cared for them knew what that pounding meant.
The shouts from beyond the door came from soldiers, not obeying any command but their inner desire to destroy and plunder. Who could do anything to stop them? The only people here were some Sisters, the Handmaids of Charity, who devoted themselves to helping the sick.
The doctors had not even wanted them there. The doctors wanted medical people who were secular and military, not nuns. And in the face of this new danger they were even more useless! Worse than useless — because that Paula (as she was known) di Rosa was actually moving to open the door!
When the door swung wide, the soldiers saw their way blocked with a great crucifix held by Paula di Rosa and two candles held by two of the six sisters who stood by her. Suddenly their frenzy to destroy disappeared, and full of shame before this display of courage and faith, they slunk back into the shadows.
Throughout her life, Paula di Rosa was never afraid to open the door on a new opportunity to serve God, especially when she was unsure of what lay beyond. People who didn’t know her well must have thought she was too frail and delicate for these ventures, but she came armed not only with her faith but boundless energy, intelligence, and hunger to serve.
Born in 1813, she had tackled enormous projects from the time she was seventeen, arranging retreats and special missions for her parish and setting up a women’s guild. Because of all she accomplished, when she was only twenty-four she was asked to be supervisor of a workhouse for poor girls. After two years, she became concerned because there was no place for the girls to go at the end of the day. Night held special dangers for these girls and Paula wanted to give them a safe place to stay. The trustees refused to provide that place. For Paula the choice was easy — she once said that she could never go to bed with a clear conscience if she had missed the chance to do some good. So she quit the workhouse to set up a boardinghouse for poor girls while helping her brother with a school for the deaf.
At 27 she stood before another door. She was appointed superior of the Handmaids of Charity, a religious society whose purpose was to dedicate all their time and attention to the suffering in hospitals. With her friends Gabriela Bornati and Monsignor Pinzoni, she won the respect of those who thought of these “handmaids” as intruders.
Then in 1848, her whole life seemed to fall apart. First she lost Gabriela and then Monsignor Pinzoni died, leaving her without the support and friendship she had come to depend on. War started in Europe and her homeland was invaded. Facing that kind of grief and turmoil, many others would have crawled into bed and pulled the covers over their head. But Paula had always seen opportunity in everything that came her way. War meant that many would be wounded and displaced by the war so she and her sisters went to work at a military hospital and even went out to the battlefield to give spiritual and physical comfort to the wounded and dying.
She died in 1855, going through the final door, unafraid and joyful to be joining her Lord forever.
Mary di Rosa (Maria Crocifisa di Rosa) V (RM)
Born in Brescia, Italy, November 6, 1813; died December 15, 1855; canonized 1954.
Maria di Rosa, nee Paula Francesca Maria, quite simply wore out her frail body serving those in need in her native Brescia from the age of 17 until she died at 42.
Maria was one of nine children born to Countess Camilla Albani and Clement di Rosa, an industrialist who owned a large spinning mill and a bench in the church. It was a happy family, whose religious devotions were regular and well-balanced. The countess died when Maria was 10, but life didn't change much for the family routine was well-established. The Visitandine sisters took charge of the di Rosa sisters and taught them the catechism, sewing, cooking, music, poetry, manners, and introduced the girls to the Introduction to the Devout Life.
When she was older, Maria took charge of her father's house and servants. She often invited her confessor, Msgr. Faustino Pinzoni, to dinner. Out of concern that she was becoming too religious, her father set about finding her a husband. Maria told her confessor, who in turn convinced Clement to leave her in peace until she was ready for marriage.
Caring for her father's home was not enough. Maria longed to take seriously Jesus's words that whoever helped the least of his brethren did it for him. "I suffer from seeing suffering," she once said. Mary began to help in any way she could the downtrodden factory workers of Brescia, especially women and children whose working conditions were atrocious. Her father did nothing to prevent Maria from attending to the spiritual and material needs of his underpaid workers. She was daily visiting the hospitals, taking special care for the deaf and dumb.
And at age 27 she set herself to put all this work on a properly organized basis. Together with the widow Gabriela Bornati she founded the society of Handmaids of Charity. The sole purpose of the Handmaids was to minister to the material needs of those afflicted by poverty or disease. Maria forsook her life of luxury and worked day and night, while heading a school for abandoned girls and tending to the sick of the hospital by cleaning rooms and caring for souls.
Her father was upset at seeing Maria so ill-housed in a hut by the hospital and offered the women a pleasant house, where Gabriela died in 1843. Within three years of the founding of the order, the women had more work than they could have imagined.
First, northern Italy was brutally punished by the Austrians when it revolted in 1852. The Handmaids cared for the soldiers of both sides. The order flourished and soon there were 25 sisters to help in their mission under the spiritual direction of Father Luigi Bianchini, successor to Msgr. Pinzoni. On October 24, 1850, they were received and approved by Piux IX; another two years of red tape and, at age 39, Miss di Rosa adopted the name of Maria Crocifissa. The Austrian war was soon followed by the disastrous cholera epidemic of 1852, which gave the members of the order as much work as anyone could bear.
The order worked in schools, orphanages, and hospitals. Three years later Maria, who had always neglected her health to care for others, changed places with them and died (Attwater, Bentley, Encyclopedia).