Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Short Cuts

Author and Publisher - Catholic Online

Image of St. Maria de Mattias


Birth: 1805

Death: 1866

Canonized By: Pope John Paul II

Maria De Mattias was born on 4 February 1805 at Vallecorsa, the southernmost town of the Papal States, in the geographical province of Frosinone,. Her family was not without wealth and learning--even if women were forbidden to study--nor did it lack a deep Christian faith.

Through dialog with her father, Maria learned and internalized not only the truths of the faith, but also, and especially, episodes and persons of the Sacred Scriptures. Her father read the Scriptures to her when she was still very young, and she developed a great love for Jesus, the Lamb sacrificed for the salvation of humanity. All of this happened while Vallecorsa and surrounding areas were experiencing the tragic period of banditry, 1810-1825. In Maria's soul, in fact, there was a comparison being made between the human blood poured out in hatred and revenge and the blood of Christ poured out for love, a Blood which saves.

Without formal education and without outside contacts, because of her social class, Maria spent her childhood and early adolescence withdrawn and focused on her beauty. But when she reached the age of sixteen or seventeen, she began to search for the meaning of her life; she felt a need for a boundless love. Again, it was through dialog with her father, to whom she revealed her interior darkness and through her having asked Our Lady to "give her light", that God let her experience the beauty of his love in a "mystical" way. It was manifested in its fullness in the Crucified Christ, in Christ who gives all his Blood.

This experience was the source, the force, and the motivation that brought her to the roads of Italy "to make known to everyone the tender love of the Heavenly Father", as she said, or "the Crucified Love Jesus". She was convinced that the reformation of society begins in the heart of the person, and that a person becomes transformed when she/he comes to understand how precious each one is in God's eyes, how much each person is loved...Jesus gave all this Blood to save the human race.

This had been Maria's experience; therefore she tried to lead all people, young and adult, to discover what had been revealed to her and changed her. She had also experienced that this transformation is possible for everyone when, in 1822, when she was seventeen, Gaspar Del Bufalo (now "Saint") went to preach a mission at Vallecorsa. She saw how the townspeople changed. It was that occasion that generated the dream in her heart to do what Fr. Gaspar was doing.

Under the guidance of one of St. Gaspar's companions, (now Venerable) Fr. Giovanni Merlini, she founded the Congregation of the Sisters Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Acuto (Frosinone) on 4 March 1834, at the age of twenty-nine. She had been called by the Administrator of Anagni, Bishop Giuseppe Maria Lais, to teach the young girls--she had learned to read and write on her own.

Maria, however, who nurtured a dream to reform society and the world, did not limit her activity to the school. She also gathered mothers and young boys to catechize them, to encourage them to love Jesus and to teach them to live Christian lives, according to their state. The men, to whom she could not speak according to the customs of the time, went spontaneously to listen to her, even in hiding. The shepherds, abandoned to their own resources, asked to be instructed by her, even after sundown. People flocked to the religious functions to listen to the teacher.

Thus, Maria, from the timid and introverted girl that she was, had become a preacher who attracted little girls, adults, the simple and the learned, lay persons and priests. It was because, when she spoke about Jesus and the mysteries of the faith, it was as though she had seen these realities, personally. Her consuming desire was that "not even one drop of the Divine Blood would be lost"; that it would reach all sinners to purify them and so that, washed in that river of mercy, they would rediscover the right way to peace and union among people.

This zeal was caught by many young women and, through them, Maria De Mattias was able to open about seventy communities during her lifetime, three of which were in Germany and England. Almost all were in small isolated towns of Central Italy, except for Rome, to which she was called by Pius IX for the San Luigi Hospice and for the school of Civitavecchia.

Maria De Mattias life was one lived with the one desire of "giving pleasure to Jesus" who had stolen her heart in her youth, and in a joyful commitment to save "the dear neighbor" from ignorance regarding the mystery of God's love for humanity. All of this led her not to spare her energies; she did not give up when faced with disappointments or difficulties; she always worked in deep communion with the local and universal Church, and for love of Her.

Maria De Mattias died at Rome on 20 August 1866 and was buried in Rome's Verano Cemetery, according to the desire of Pope Pius IX, who chose a tomb for her and commissioned a bas-relief on it depicting the vision of Ezechiel: "Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord".

Her reputation for holiness remained alive after her death. The process for her beatification began thirty years later, culminating in that blessed event 1 October 1950, when Pius XII pronounced her "Blessed." During the Consistory of 7 March 2003, Pope John Paul II set 18 May 2003 as the date for her canonization.

Biography Provided By: The Vatican

St. Maria de Mattias Comments

More Saints

Browse Saints by Category

Popular Saints




Image of St. Emma

St. Emma

Saint Emma, also known as Emma of Lesum, or Emma of Stiepel, lived in the city that is Bremen today. She is the first female inhabitant of the city to be known by name. Emma lived in the ... continue reading


Image of St. John Baptist Rossi

St. John Baptist Rossi

This holy priest was born in 1698 at the village of Voltaggio in the diocese of Genoa and was one of the four children of an excellent and highly respected couple. When he ws ten a nobleman ... continue reading


Image of St. Genevieve

St. Genevieve

St. Genevieve was born about the year 422, at Nanterre near Paris. She was seven years old when St. Germain of Auxerre came to her native village on his way to great Britain to combat the ... continue reading

All Popular Saints

Saint of the Day

Image of St. John of Capistrano

St. John of Capistrano

St. John was born at Capistrano, Italy in 1385, the son of a former German knight in that city. He studied law at the University of Perugia and practiced as a lawyer in the courts of Naples. King ... continue reading

More Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day by E-Mail

Saint of the Day newsletter icon

Learn about the lives of the saints and other saint resources, including a calendar, over 5,000 saint biographies, our most popular saints, and a list of patron saints. 7 days / week. See Sample


Female Saints

Image of St. Bernadette

St. Bernadette

St. Bernadette was born in Lourdes, France on January 7, 1844. Her parents were very poor and she was the first of nine children. She was baptized at St. Pierre's, the local parish church, on January 9. As a toddler, Bernadette contracted cholera and suffered extreme ... continue reading

More Female Saints

Saint Calendar
Saint Feast Days
Saint Fun Facts


Image of St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel

Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading

Saints Fun Facts

Saints Fun Facts for St. Peter Claver

St. Peter Claver

St. Peter Claver was born at Verdu, Catalonia, Spain, in 1580, of impoverished parents descended from ancient and distinguished families. He studied at the Jesuit college of Barcelona, entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tarragona in 1602 and took his final vows on August ... continue reading

Saints Fun Facts for St. Monica

St. Monica

Saint Monica, also known as Monica of Hippo, is St. Augustine of Hippo's mother. She was born in 331 A.D. in Tagaste, which is present-day Algeria. When she was very young, she was married off to the Roman pagan Patricius, who shared his mother's violent temper. ... continue reading

Christian Saints & Heroes

Image of One of many icons of St. Ignatius of Antioch

St. Ignatius of Antioch: Model of Bravery, Man for our Times

By Billy Atwell

In the face of the current "witch-hunts" endured by some of our Bishops, let us remember a hero on October 17, the feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch.  St. Ignatius of Antioch is a bishop and martyr of the Church who died in the year 107.  He was torn ... continue reading

More Christian Saints & Heroes


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18
12 for the Lord is a judge who is utterly impartial.13 He ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 34:2-3, 17-18, 19, 23
2 I will praise Yahweh from my heart; let the humble hear and ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 18:9-14
9 He spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on ... Read More

Reading 2, Second Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
6 As for me, my life is already being poured away as a libation, and the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 23rd, 2016 Image

St. John of Capistrano
October 23: St. John was born at Capistrano, Italy in 1385, ... Read More