of Our Memory
“THE LOOKS OF EDUCATORS AIM HIGHER … “
SISTER MARIA GIUSEPPA DELLA CROCE, (Clementina Parchetti) was born in Zagarolo in 1854.
At the age of twenty, she entered the Institute and began the formation journey with a youthful enthusiasm to be a Daughter of Divine Providence with the spirit of Mother Elena Bettini whom she had known. The school was her greatest passion, every hidden sacrifices, she offered to Jesus Crucified whom she loved immensely. By her mortification and daily humility, she became more and more similar to the Crucifix that made her a victim of charity.
After completing the novitiate, she was sent to Grottaferrata as director of the students and teachers in the municipal elementary school. Her untiring educational work was appreciated by all, which flourished in much knowledge and for Christian formation.
Sr. M. Giuseppa was called back to Rome to be the Novice Mistress in 1902; she could stay there only for short time, because the City Council of Grottaferrata, who had experienced her extraordinary teaching skills and her great spirit of adaptation to the local reality, could not give up her absence. They could not do without this wonderful teacher, who within 23 years had changed the face of their school and families. With persisting requests, they obtained from the Mother General Sr. M. Cherubina Camerata, her return to the school in Grottaferrata and the whole town celebrated her return.
She resumed the ministry of moral and intellectual education of the girls with enthusiasm and sacrifice, which seemed to have been formed by Providence precisely for this sublime, delicate mission. A few years later she was also superior of the community, responsible for the Daughters of Mary, the flourishing Marian movement in Grottaferrata from the origins of our history. Mother Giuseppa used to fill her days with prayer, work, and sacrifices and never missed an opportunity to offer daily “bundles of myrrh” to her “Love of the Crucifix”. She was very affable with everyone, she went from the most humble and heavy jobs in the house, to the embroideries she was very skilled in creating. Always attentive to food, she did not neglect fasting on penitential days, and often, like our first Sisters, she used the sackcloth as a sign of pertinence.
Love for the Blessed Sacrament and for the Sacred Heart was her life: after school hours, she gathered flowers to decorate the altar and remained absorbed in prayer for a long time. The tragic death that occurred in March of 1905 makes us believe that, in one of her intimate conversations she was offered as a victim to Jesus Crucified. She was baking bread in a public oven and suddenly fell to the bottom of a dark staircase, from where she became unconscious and severely wounded to the head.
She survived a few hours, and her beautiful soul flew to the embrace of the Celestial Spouse, whom she had loved so much on earth. Mourning for her loss lasted nine days because in Grottaferrata, they had seen in her a saint.
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