St. Maria Crocifissa Di Rosa
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Paula Frances Mary di Rosa was born on November 6, 1813, at Brescia, Italy. Educated by the Visitandine nuns, she left school at the age of seventeen to manage her widowed father's household. Mary was not interested in marriage since she was attracted to the convent. She took care of the spiritual needs of young girls working in her father's mills, and she volunteered to work in the Brescia hospital during the 1836 cholera epidemic. Later, she founded a home for girls and a school for deaf mutes. In 1840, her spiritual director made her Superior of a group of religious who cared for the sick. She took the religious name Mary Crucifixa because of her devotion to the Cruficied Christ. Called the HANDMAIDS OF CHARITY OF BRESCIA, her group was approved by the bishop of Brescia in 1843, and Papal approval was granted in 1850. Mary died at Brescia in 1855 and was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1954.
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