Blessed Maria Crocifissa Curcio

July 4: Celebrated as Memorial.

Rosa Curcio was born on January 30, 1877 in Noto, Sicily, the seventh child of Salvatore Curcio and Concetta Franzò. Maria only attended formal school for six years but educated herself through reading in the family library and was deeply influenced by the Life of Saint Teresa of Jesus, which she found at a time when she was feeling drawn to religious life. Despite objections from her family she she joined the Carmelite Tertiaries in Ispica, Sicily, in 1890. She and several other tertiaries moved in together to see if they were ready for community life. Rosa transferred to Modica and managed the Carmela Polara which helped poor and orphaned girls. She travelled to Rome on May 17, 1925 for the canonization of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. In Porto Santa Rufina she founded the Congregation of the Carmelite Missionary Sisters of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus which received official recognition in 1930; its goal was “to bring souls to God” by feeding the poor, educating children and supporting families. They spread out across Italy, and in 1947 she sent missionary sisters to Brazil. The Congregation continues its work today. Like St Therese, Rosa felt called to the missionary life but ill health meant that she could never become one. She died on July 4, 1957, in Porto Santa Rufina of natural causes and was beatified on November 13, 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Image courtesy of the Curia webmaster, Rome.