Handmaids of Charity

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A religious congregation (Ancillae a Caritate) founded in 1840 in Brescia, Italy, by St. Maria Crocifissa di rosa, with Monsignor Faustino Pinzoni and Gabriella Echenos Bornati as cofounders. Approval by the Holy See came in 1847 and 1921. Members take simple perpetual vows and are active mainly in educational and hospital work. During the first few decades after their foundation the Handmaids worked in hospitals in Brescia, Cremona, Mantua, Udine, Trieste, and elsewhere in that region and ran schools in Ragusa and Spalato (Split) in Dalmatia. In 1848 and 1849 the sisters aided the sick and wounded in hospitals and battlefields in northern Italy. The congregation survived the hostility of the government during the early years of the kingdom of Italy.

Bibliography: l. fossati, Beata Maria Crocifissa di Rosa (Brescia 1940); Storia della Congregazione durante il governo di Madre Teresa Pochetti, v.2 (Brescia 1958) 415508.

[l. fossati/eds.]