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Saint Maria Crocifissa Di Rosa

Saint Maria Crocifissa Di Rosa
  • Century: 19th Century
  • Patronage: -
  • Feast Day: December 15th

St. Maria Crocifissa Di Rosa was born in 1813, and was the founder of the Handmaids of Charity, in Brescia, Italy in 1839.  She was beatified and canonized by Pope Pius XII.  She was born as Paolina Francesca di Rosa, on November 6, 1813, in Brescia, Italy.  

She was first educated in a convent of the Visitation Sisters.  At the age of seventeen, she left that school after the death of her mother, to care for her father.  He ran a sawmill with many employees and needed the help.  She also was noted for helping the women and girls working at the sawmill.  In 1836 there was a cholera epidemic.  She also worked in the hospital in Brescia to assist those with cholera.  She went on and founded a school for the hearing impaired and created programs to assist women of poverty.  Her dedication led to her being nominated as the Mother Superior.  

Her strong 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 the age of thirty, she took the name of Maria Crocifissa di Rosa.  She founded a new religious congregation, the Handmaids of Charity.  Their chief apostolate was the care of poor, the sick and the suffering.  Her new Order was granted Papal approval in 1850.  St. Maria Crocifissa di Rose died at Brescia, in 1855, at the age of 42.  She was beatified and canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1954.  

Pratcial Take Away 

St. Maria Crocifissa di Rosa was a sprititual young girl that entered the convent of the Visitation Sisters and became educated.  She was dedicated to serving the Lord, but left the convent when she was seventeen to care for her father, after the death of her mother.  She took that opportunity to serve and assist the young women and girls that worked for her father at his sawmill.  She was dedicated to serving others, through the Crucified Christ, and could easily see the sufferings in the members of His Mystical Body.  At the age of 30, she founded the religious congregation – the Handmaids of Charity, dedicated to care for the poor, the sick and suffering.