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THE HOLY MARIA CRISTINA

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Sister Maria Cristina Brando, in love with Eucharist

Maria Cristina Brando, the youngest of four sisters , was born in Naples on 1st of May 1856, from rich and Christian parents: Giovanni Brando and Maria Concetta Marrazzo. Baptized with the name of Adelaide, she lost her mother when she was very young. She had a marked religious sensitiveness and she felt strongly attracted by the mistery of Jesus’ suffering, recognizing it in poor and wretched people’s faces and living her religious feeling in Eucharistic. When she was twelve, willing to be loved only by Jesus and to live for him, she did her chastity vow before Jesus child image and so she showed her vocation for ordination.

She chose at first the convent of Jesus Sacramental Worshippers; then she moved to Fiorentine Clarisse Convent where her oldest sister Maria Pia was a novice. The latter left the convent to found a charity institute which took care of orphan children. God’s will had stated otherwise for Adelaide, too: because of health reasons she had to live the convent twice but, as soon as she restored, came into the Perpetual Worshippers Convent. She wore her religious habit in 1876,becoming sister Maria Cristina of The Blessed Virgin.

Once again her bad health conditions compelled her to leave the convent. She moved to the Convent of Teresine Sisters in Torre del Greco and, in 1878, she founded the Congregation of Jesus Expiatory Victims. Her deed, in spite of straitened circumstances, was successful in Casoria, where sister Cristina moved to, adviced by Michelangelo from Marigliano and the Blesssed Ludovico from Casoria. This institute achieved the canonical assent on 20th of July and, on 2nd of November, she chose her perpetual vow. Other sisters followed her. She died on 20th of January 1906, after a life lived giving love, according to her first intention. As a child she used to say: “ I must be a saint, I want to be a saint”.
Giovanni Paolo II wrote her name in the blessed Book on 27th of April 2003.

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