" The Infant Jesus, far from being sorrowful at this proposal, is pleased at it, accepts it with love, and exults in it! "
St. Alphonsus Liguori
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celeste3 Feast Day : September 14th


Blessed Maria Celeste Crostarosa (born as Giulia Crostarosa) was born in Naples, Italy on the 31st October 1696. At the age of twenty she entered a Carmelite monastery. When this monastery was suppressed, she went to Scala in the hills above Naples, where she entered a monastery living the Visitation Rule.

 

Under the direction of Bishop Thomas Falcoia, and with the cooperation of St Alphonsus, Maria Celeste reformed the monastery according to a revelation she had received from the Lord. She founded the Order of the Most Holy Reedeemer (Redemptoristines) on the 13th May 1731. Their vocation is to be a "living memory" of Jesus Christ, witnessing to the paschal mystery.

 

In 1773 Maria Celeste was forced to leave Scala, and eventually she was called to Foggia, where she founded the Monastery of the Most Holy Saviour.

 

The spiritual journey of Maria Celeste, favoured by many mystical experiences, was characterised by obedience to conscience, by constant searching for the meaning of the gospel, and by living simply.

Maria Celeste died at Foggia on the 14th September 1755. At the moment of her death, Saint Gerard Majella, her spiritual friend, saw her soul flying to heaven as a white dove.

On 3 June 2013 Pope Francis declared her to be Venerable due to her life of heroic virtue. In 2015 a miracle attributed to her intercession was approved.  In Foggia on 18th June 2016  Sr. Maria Celeste Crostorosa was beatified.

Thank you to the Redemptorist North American Commission for Partnership in Missions for this article.

 

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