Sr. Crocifissa (Teresa) Militerni


Sr. Crocifissa Militerni was born in Cetraro (CS) on Christmas Eve of 1874, to parents: Giuseppe and Pasqualina Giordanelli. At Baptism, she received the name of Maria Antonietta Teresa, but in the family, she was always called Teresa.
Advanced in intelligence and very sensitive to grace, on the day of her first communion (April 1884) she felt an extraordinary attraction to union with God. At only 13 years of age, she decided, in the secret of her heart, to dedicate herself entirely to the Lord.
As she grew up, she began to gather young people who wanted to live in union with God in an abandoned church in the village. At home, she taught catechism to children.
Having been proposed to in marriage by a local noble knight, to ward off any temptation and any other attempt on her part, she cut off her braids and eyelashes. On March 25, 1894, she took a vow of virginity with the permission of her confessor. On this occasion, she wore a black dress and covered her blonde hair with a black shawl, among the many struggles between her and her family. Under the guidance of a demanding local priest, she embarked on a serious path of spiritual and apostolic life with prayer, fasting and discipline.
She obtained a piece of land from a relative and thought that she could begin what she had in her heart: foundation of a convent, with daycare, orphanage, hospice, and hospital. This was all at the expense of Divine Providence.
On March 3, 1902, four Baptistine Sisters arrived in Cetraro to establish their own community; they wanted to build a kindergarten and a workshop; the house was opened on March 19th, named “Istituto di S. Giuseppe”. For Teresa this was the Lord's call. After many struggles with her family, friends and acquaintances, she left her father's house and entered the Congregation on the 7th of September 1903. She brought the associations she founded to the Baptistine House in Cetraro, which she then had to leave to begin the year of novitiate.

On July 7, 1904 in Angri, Mother House, she put on the holy habit and took the name of Sr. Crocifissa. She made her perpetual vows on September 8, 1910.
Just after her first profession, she returned to Cetraro, where, under the guidance of Sr. Colomba Ferraro, she continued the works begun previously, and opened summer schools, took in orphans, founded a hospital in the care of the Municipality, and opened the hospice for the elderly.

Appointed as Superior of the House of Cetraro in 1909, she obtained from the Bishop, Msgr. Scanu, the so-called “Ritiro” Church, with an annexed room and an adjacent area. She subsequently bought another piece of adjacent land, and on December 15,1912 the first stone of the convent was laid, with great celebration.

The construction was carried out with her prayers and sacrifices; she was not ashamed of begging and had frequent heavenly consolations: more than once the Lord worked true wonders for her. Soon, on October 7, 1915, Sr. Crocifissa had to leave her town, because she was called to Rome, as Directress of Novices. She fulfilled her task as an untiring and loving "shaper of fiery souls." In the General Chapter of 1919, she was also elected General Councilor
In 1924, out of obedience, she attended a nursing course, during which she often felt ill, with fevers and severe visceral pains. Her Superior General, Mother Artemisia Cirillo, thought it useful to have her return to Cetraro, in the hope that her native air would help her. On the evening of January 26, 1925, Sr. Crocifissa left Rome. She saw Cetraro again, where she had to undergo surgery for tuberculous peritonitis. She did not moan, though the anesthesia had no effect.
Despite the operation, unfortunately she got worse: on the morning of March 25th, the anniversary of her vow of virginity, she received the last sacraments and saying: "Here is the Handmaid of the Lord", she breathed her last. There was a general mourning and an impressive presence of the people around when she was buried in the Cemetery of Cetraro. On March 3, 1940 the mortal remains of the Servant of God were transferred from the municipal cemetery of Cetraro to the church of the San Giuseppe Institute while the fame of holiness was continually known, both among the people and among the Sisters of the Baptistine Congregation.
Subsequently, on December 21, 2014, the opening of the Diocesan Inquiry into life, virtues and the reputation for her holiness was initiated, which was concluded on May 19, 2018.
Sr. Crocifissa left a copious collection of letters, thoughts of meditation, prayers, poems and other spiritual writings; she above all left a testimony of a life totally given to God in generous service to the poor.

Prayer for intercession

Ask for graces through the intercession of Sr. Crocifissa Militerni (Teresa).
With ecclesiastical approval of His Excellency Msgr. Leonardo Bonanno. Bishop of San Marco Argentano - Scalea (CS) - Italy

Most Holy Trinity,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

We praise you and thank you for having given,
your faithful servant Sister Crocifissa Militerni ,
to the Church and to the world who, ,
with her gaze turned to eternal goods, ,
lived an ardent and tireless life,
totally given to God and to her brothers and sisters. ,
Following her example, make us guardians and witnesses ,
of the beauty of that Crucified Love,
which surpasses all beauty of creation.,

We ask you,
through her intercession for,
the grace we so desire. ,

The Charism


The charism of the Servant of God Sr. Crocifissa Militerni is a deep and ardent spousal bond with Jesus Crucified "...who of creation surpasses all beauty".
It is from this ardent love that her self-giving to Him and her love for the excluded and marginalized flow.
In line with the charism of the Congregation, Sr. Crocifissa lived its spousal dimension by imitating Jesus of Nazareth who passes through streets of the world doing good to all. Her gaze was directed, in particular, to the Jesus crucified who spreads his arms on the cross, with the power of forgiveness and the offering of his life to the Father which transforms all evil into supreme good. From her gaze of love, springs an ardent and active life, totally given to God and to her brothers and sisters.
As"… guardian and witness of the beauty of the crucified love which surpasses all beauty of creation”, Sr. Crocifissa becomes bread for the world in the daily sharing of every fragment of pain and joy. Her hard work, her courage, her trust in Providence, and her humility knew no bounds.
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