Schinina, Maria of the Sacred Heart, Bl.
SCHININA, MARIA OF THE SACRED HEART, BL.
Cofoundress of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; b. Apr. 10, 1844, Ragusa, Sicily, Italy; d. there June 11, 1910. Born into the nobility of Sicily, Maria received a good education and Christian upbringing from her parents. In 1860, Maria shocked her peers by recruiting several companions to work with her to relieve the suffering of prisoners of war and the peasantry tormented by the Risorgimento. With the approval of the bishop of Syracuse, Maria and five companions formed (1885) the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to serve a variety of apostolates among orphaned girls, the elderly, the infirm, and prisoners. She also aided other religious institutes, such as the Ladies of Charity and the Carmelites, by providing a home when they were forced from their convents due to political unrest, financed seminaries, and sponsored educational programs. All in need received help from the Sacred Heart sisters.
According to the Pope John Paul II, Maria of the Sacred Heart responded to God's love by emphasizing "contemplation, adoration, and reparation" (beatification homily, Nov. 4, 1990).
Bibliography: Acta Apostolicae Sedis (1990): 1091.
[k. i. rabenstein]