Our Patroness-St Maria de Matias
Maria De Mattias was born and baptized in Vallecorsa, Italy, on February 4, 1805. In her home, and especially from her father, she learned to pray, to love Scripture and to be open to the action of the Spirit.
Her wisdom in daily living, her mystical experiences and the soundness of her simple theology, as reflected in the hundreds of letters she wrote, show how grace and nature were united in Maria. She was a woman completely dedicated to God and to her “dear neighbor.”
In 1834, inspired by St. Gaspar del Bufalo, CPPS, and guided by the counsel of the Venerable John Merlini, CPPS, she founded the congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Acuto, a small town in the mountains southeast of Rome. The purpose of the apostolic congregation was the adoration of Christ crucified and risen, and collaboration with Him in His work of redemption.
The ministries she chose were works of evangelization and service, especially for the poor, for whom she had a special love. She wanted to help bring about “that beautiful order of things which the great Son of God came to establish in His Blood.”
Maria responded to God’s call with the radical enthusiasm of a true disciple of the Lord, and she encouraged her sisters to do the same. Today the Adorers are on five continents, twenty-seven countries, with about 1800 members in more than 300 communities, in education, evangelization, human, social and cultural promotion, and safeguarding the rights of women and the marginalized.
Maria De Mattias died in Rome, August 20, 1866. On October 1, 1950, she was beatified by Pope Pius XII, and canonized on May 18, 2003 by Pope John Paul II.