Italian queen beatified
January 27, 2014
Queen Maria Cristina of Savoy (1812-36), whose husband ruled the largest of the Italian kingdoms before national unification, was beatified in Naples on January 25.
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. The queen died following the birth of their only child.
In his homily at the Mass of beatification, Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, discussed 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, 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.”