Queen Maria Cristina of Savoy, whose husband ruled the largest of the Italian kingdoms before national unification, was beatified in the historic Basilica of Santa Chiara in Naples on 25 January.
Born in 1812, the daughter of King Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia and Archduchess Maria Teresa of Austria-Este, Maria Cristina married King Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies in 1832. She died following the birth of their only child, who later became the last reigning King of the Two Sicilies, Francis II.
TRH Prince Charles and Princess Camilla of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duke and Duchess of Castro, together with other senior members of the Neapolitan Royal Family, and a 2,000 strong congregation attended the event, which united for the first time in 50 years the principal branches of the Bourbon Two Sicilies dynasty lead by HRH The Duke of Castro in Italy and HRH The Duke of Calabria in Spain.
The Holy Father, Pope Francis who approved the beatification on 2 May 2013, was represented at the Mass by HE Angelo Cardinal Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. HE Crescenzio Cardinal Sepe, Archbishop of Naples was celebrant and HE Renato Raffaele Cardinal Martino, Grand Prior of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George was also present.
In his homily at the Mass of beatification, Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, spoke of the queen’s innocence, modesty, and mortification with respect to food and entertainment, as well as her love for the poor and sick. All Christians, the prelate emphasized, are given opportunities to become holy, whatever their state of life.
Following his Sunday Angelus address that week, Pope Francis described Queen Maria Cristina as a “woman of deep spirituality and great humility.”
“She was able to bear the suffering of her people, becoming a true mother of the poor,” he added. “Her extraordinary example of charity shows that the good life of the Gospel is possible in every environment and social status.”
Source: Constantinian Order
Tags: Archduchess Maria Teresa of Austria Este, Basilica of Santa Chiara in Naples, Francis II., King of the Two Sicilies, King Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia, Maria Cristina, Queen Maria Cristina of Savoy
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