EUROPE/ITALY - Sister Maria Teresa Crescini elected Superior general of the Maestre Pie Venerini

Monday, 3 September 2007

Rome (Agenzia Fides) - The order of religious Sisters Maestre Pie Venerini, during its recent 12th general Chapter elected as new Superior General Sisterr Maria Teresa Crescini, who had previously worked for the Pontifical Mission Societies for more than twenty years. Sr Maria Teresa was national secretary of the Pontifical Society for Holy Childhood in Italy, and she also worked in the head offices of the International Secretariat of Holy Childhood.
Rosa Venerini was born in Viterbo on 9 February 1656. As a young girl she sought for a long time the path along which she could serve God and neighbour. At the age of 24 Rosa began to gather women and girls to recite the Rosary together. She saw with concern their situation of economic, cultural and moral poverty. After reflecting at length on 30 August 1685 Rosa opened a School of the Maestre Pie Venerini: the first school for girls in Italy, for the spiritual elevation and healthy emancipation of women. In the years that followed Rosa founded numerous other schools in various towns in Italy. Rosa Venerini died in Rome on 7 May 1728.
To free the person from ignorance and evil that God's plan for each may be visible: this is the legacy Rosa Venerini left her daughterswho strive to live it and transmit it as they serve the poor. The Congregation after helping to assist Italian emigrants in the United States since 1909, and in Switzerland from 1971 to 1985, extended its apostolic work to India, Brazil, Cameroon, Romania, Albania, Chile, Venezuela and Nigeria. Rosa Venerini was canonised by Benedict XVI 15 October 2006, in Rome: “from her total trust in God flowed longsighted activity undertaken with courage for the spiritual elevation and authentic emancipation of the young women of her day” the Pope said in his homily, underlining the importance of the service of her spiritual daughters “in schools and in formation for women”. (S.L.)(Agenzia Fides 3/9/2007; righe 24, parole 342)