Troiani, Caterina, Bl.

views updated


Baptized Costanza (Constance), known in religion as Mary Catherine of Saint Rose of Viterbo, Poor Clare, foundress of the Institute of Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; b. Jan.19, 1813, at Giuliano (near Rome), Italy; d. May 6, 1887, at Cairo, Egypt.

Upon the death of her mother (1819), Costanza was entrusted to the Poor Clares at the convent in Ferentino near Frosinone, Campania, Italy. In the course of her decade living with the sisters, she came to love the Rule. At age 16, she became a novice and made her profession the following year. She and five other sisters responded to the call of Bishop Guasco, apostolic vicar of Egypt, for missionaries. Upon arriving in Cairo (September 14, 1859), the sisters established an elementary school that was open to all children. Troiani earned the affectionate title "mother of the poor" for her many acts of charity and her collaboration in the movement to emancipate slaves. In 1868, she founded the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart. Her poor house established in the Clot-Bey district became her headquarters; however, the generalate was later transferred to Rome and the sisters continue Troiani's work in Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Ghana, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, the United States, and West Africa.

Her relics were translated from Cairo to the congregation's generalate in Rome in 1967. In beatifying (April 14, 1985) Maria Caterina Troiani, Pope John Paul II praised her courage in using the faith to bridge cultural differences for the benefit of the young and needy.

Bibliography: Acta Apostolicae Sedis : 91316. L'Osservatore Romano, English edition, no. 19: 68.

[k. i. rabenstein]