Beatification: Marie Louise of the Blessed Sacrament, Foundress of the Franciscan Sisters Adorers of the Holy Cross

The beatification rite of Venerable Marie Louise of the Blessed Sacrament, Foundress of the Franciscan Sisters Adorers of the Holy Cross will be celebrated on Saturday, 26 September 2020 in the Cathedral of Naples, Italy.

Blessed Marie Louise Velotti was born in Soccavo (Naples, Italy) in 1826. As an orphan, she experienced the difficulties of life from an early age, which she faced with humble and robust faith. Under the spiritual guidance of the Friars Minor, she professed the rule of the Third Order in 1854.

Her vocation was perfected through a series of experiences in various religious communities in Naples until she understood that the Lord was calling her to undertake a new apostolic and charitable ministry. She opened a house for the reception of orphans and the education of girls, supported by the Venerable Michelangelo da Marigliano, Friar Minor, first in the village of Miano and then in Naples. Thus, in 1877, the Institute of the Franciscan Sisters Adorers of the Holy Cross was born, inspired by her ardent love for the Lord’s Passion. The work was encouraged and blessed in its beginnings by Venerable Bernardino da Portogruaro, Minister General of the Friars Minor, and was spiritually guided by St Ludovico da Casoria.

Mother Marie Louise was a simple woman, illiterate, but knowledgeable in the wisdom of the Gospel. She was favoured by mystical gifts which she cherished in the most profound humility. In 1884 the Blessed moved the headquarters of the institute to Casoria, right next to St Ludovico’s family home. Here, by then paralysed in her legs, she exercised with motherly love a ministry of welcome and consolation for the many people who sought her advice. In the serene hope of meeting the Lord, she died on the morning of 3 September 1886.

The process for her beatification began in 1927. She was declared Venerable in December 2016.