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Maria De Mattias

Florence Nightingale

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Maria De Mattias was born in Vallecorsa (Frosinone, Italy) on February 4, 1805. Struck by the image of Jesus, the paschal Lamb, after a time of deep prayer and reflection, in 1834 she founded the Congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Acuto, a small mountain town close to Rome. Soon she began to go to various towns in central Italy and, with her first followers, she started communities committed to evangelization and human development through teaching, spiritual retreats, catechesis, with special attention to the poor.

She embraced sufferings and difficulties with open heart and mind, ready also to give her own life "for the dear neighbor". Formed in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and having had to the mystical experience of God, she attracted men and women. They were amazed and enthusiastic because of her preaching of the Gospel in the churches or in small town squares.

During her lifetime, Maria wrote thousands of letters addressed to her sisters, to bishops and civil authorities. They reflect the wisdom of her soul and of her feminine sensitiveness, as well as her deep interior richness (Letters of Maria De Mattias, Rome, Voll. I, II, III).

This human and spiritual heritage is still a source of inspiration and nourishment for the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and for those who get in touch with her through these precious readings.

Maria De Mattias died in Rome on August 20, 1866. On October 1, 1950 Pius XII declared her Blessed.

Today almost 2,000 Adorers work in all continents, and continue the work of their Foundress through various apostolic services with a spirit of sacrifice and unconditional love.

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Maria De Mattias and Florence Nightingale, contemporaries, are different but similar about their readiness and their dedication to other people.

Both of these women followed a spiritual path in service to others with fortitude; they were indefatigable to lighten human sufferings and to promote better living conditions. They were consumed in their inner being by a special fire, which drove them to be prophetesses, and to be bold in their actions.

So the love of God was carried out by turning to follow human beings with love.

We Adorers of the Blood of Christ, as heiresses of this great example, are called to tread in their bright footsteps, everyday.


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