The feast day of St. Mary di Rosa is celebrated on December 15. She founded the Handmaids of Charityof Brescia.
Paula Frances Mary di Rosa was born on Nov. 6, 1813 at Brescia, Italy into a wealthy family. Her mother died when she was eleven years old.
After being educated by Visitation Nuns, she returned home to manage her father’s estate. Having a great desire to enter the convent, she was inspired to volunteer at the Brescia hospital during the cholera outbreak in 1836. She also helped care for the spiritual needs of the girls working at her father’s mills and arranged retreats.
St. Mary di Rosa founded a home for girls and a school for deaf mutes. She founded a religious order called the Handmaids of Charity of Brescia. It was also known as the Servants of Charity. It began with four members and grew to twenty two. At this time, Paula took the religious name of Mary Crucifixa because of her devotion to the passion and crucifixion and suffering of Christ.
The Sisters ministered to the wounded on the battlefields of Northern Italy and in hospitals.
St. Mary di Rosa died peacefully at the age of 42 on December 15, 1855. She was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1954.
“I can’t go to bed with a quiet conscience if during the day I’ve missed any chance, however slight, of preventing wrongdoing or of helping to bring about some good.”
Quote of St. Mary di Rosa
December is the Month of the Divine Infancy