Motherhouse Chapel

This small church is the heart of the Motherhouse where Blessed Elisabetta moved by the Holy Spirit, founded the religious order of The Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows. The Church was consecrated on May 31, 1825, and it is dedicated to Mary, Most Sorrowful. As we can see from old pictures, the chapel had an ornate altar which has been destroyed, and at the center, there was the statue of the Sorrowful Mother.

The gate above the altar and the opening through which the sisters received communion on the right side of the altar witness to the fact that the Poor of the Crucified prayed and attended Mass in the choir behind the altar. On the left side of the church close to the ceiling, there is a gate which opens into the room of Mother Elisabetta. Through that gate, she could see the tabernacle; and from there, she could pray day and night. In that room, Mother Elisabetta died on August 14, 1859, surrounded by her companions. Her body was buried in a tomb under the pavement of this church. Today, we can see the exact place, right before the steps leading to the altar where the cross.

After about 30 years, her body was exhumed by her niece, Mother Giuseppina Renzi, and placed in a marble urn (now the urn is on the second floor of the motherhouse) which was placed in a niche on the right side of the church, and stayed there until Beatification. Now there is a commemorative stone in the niche where the urn was located.

In the Chapel on the right side of the church, we can admire the venerated image of “Mary of the People,” a fresco which was on the front of the farmhouse of Doctor Patrignani of Coriano. When he was near his death, he begged that the fresco be placed in the church of the Conservatory. In detaching it from the wall, the worker dropped it, and it broke into several pieces to the point that it could not be put together.

Mother Elisabetta, however, picked up the pieces in which the fresco had been broken and put them together; and no one could see where it had been broken. The people of Coriano received many graces going with faith to the Blessed Mother, and invoke her still today under the title of ” Virgin of All Graces”

The chapel on the left side of the church is dedicated to Blessed Elisabetta Renzi. On the top of the metal urn where her remains are kept, the coat of arms of the Renzi family is engraved; and on the marble below is the seal of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows with the motto ” Ardere et Lucere” (“to burn and to light”)

This has been the mission of Blessed Elisabetta Renzi. This is the mission of each Sister of Our Lady of Sorrows throughout the world: to burn with love for the Lord and to be so filled with Him that we are able to give Him to our brothers and sisters.

I would like for all of my being to be silent and for everything in me to adore Him, to thus penetrate every more deeply into Him and to be filled with Him, and thus, to be able to give Him to those poor souls who do not know the gift of God! Oh, that I may remain always in the great presence of God.
Blessed Elisabetta Renzi
9894 Norris Ferry Road | Shreveport, LA 71106 | 318.797.0213