November 19, 2008, marked the beginning of a year of special graces and celebrations for our Congregation, the Year of Elisabetta, celebrating the 159th anniversary of the birth into heaven of our Foundress, Blessed Elisabetta Renzi. The year concluded on November 21, 2009, with a solemn Eucharistic celebration in the Cathedral of Rimini, Italy.
The Year of Elisabetta was a year for the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows to deepen and recapture the spirituality and charism that Mother Elisabetta left for us as a precious inheritance and a sure way to holiness. The Congregation focused on those particular aspects that distinguish us as Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows in our spiritual, communal, and apostolic life:
- Life of intense union with God, with the sole desire being to give Him glory
- Sincere search for the will of god, with a trusting attitude life that of a “daughter in the arms of her father”
- Love of the cross, based on the certainty that “the Alleluia dwells beyond Calvary”
- Abandonment to Providence, in simplicity and humility
- Fraternal communion, that is lived within community then spills over especially to the little ones, the weak, the poor, and the needy
- A life dedicated to evangelization and teaching
- A spirit of service in charity and humility, simplicity, cordialilty, joy of duty, joyfulness of spirit, love of sacrifice and of a hidden life.
During the year, sisters living in Italy and throughout the mission were invited to do a pilgrimage to the tomb of our Mother, in addition to making a spiritual pilgrimage to strengthen ourselves. We also celebrated other milestones in the life of the Congregation. In March 2009, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the miraculous healing of Sister Agostina Galli, which led to the beatification of our Mother Foundress. June 18, 2009, marked off the 20th anniversary of the beatification and the annual candlelight procession honoring our foundress in Coriano. August 26, 2009, was the 170th anniversary of he canonical erection of the Congregation.
Throughout the year, Mother Elisabetta accompanied us in a very special way with her example of holiness, live in the ordinariness of everyday life, showing to us and to those who knew her that the holiness to which we are all called as Christians is possible. The Year of Elisabetta was a time of grace in which we were able to draw new energy directly from Christ Crucified and Risen, and from the heart of our Mother Foundress.
As our Superior General, Mother Lina Rossi, states, the hope of this past Year of Elisabetta is that “the spiritual energy that has been revitalized by God’s grace may continue to make us “contemplatives in apostolic action,” able to minister in the world with “the action of a thousand hands and the affection of a thousand hearts;” and help us to live our educational charism with a true passion for humankind, having “great care” for all those who are entrusted to us.”
The hope of this year is that the spiritual energy that has been revitalized by God’s grace may continue to make us “contemplatives in apostolic action,” able to minister in the world with “the action of a thousand hands and the affection of a thousand hearts;” and help us to live our educational charism with a true passion for humankind, having great care for all those who are entrusted to us.
Mother Lina Rossi