The Sister of Our Lady of Sorrows consecrates herself totally to Jesus Crucified. Her union with him should be so intimate and so profound that “as the soul is the life of the body and directs all of its senses, so must Jesus Crucified be the life of our soul.” (Constitutions of the Congregation)
“We preach Jesus, Jesus Crucified.” Centuries after Saint Paul, Mother Elisabetta Renzi strongly believed that the only certitude and message she could bring to others was the truth that Jesus came to save us by dying for all of us. He gave his life for us.
Living in the eighteenth century, Mother Elisabetta knew that suffering was very much imbedded in people’s lives, and she knew that suffering had the power to unite us to Jesus who suffered persecution and death. Like her contemporaries, she was very much accustomed to sacrifices. Even though she was of noble descent and her family had resources, she knew the struggles of the poor. It is not surprising that she originally founded the Congregation under the name “The Poor of The Crucified.”
Mother Elisabetta wanted to imitate Jesus, poor and suffering and experience the joy that comes from accepting struggles and pain. She used to say to her sisters, “A suffering accepted is no longer suffering.” She modeled her life and the life of the Congregation after the obedient suffering servant. She encouraged her sisters to meditate often on the passion of Jesus and to pray the seven sorrows of Mary daily, wanting for her sisters to unite themselves to Jesus as Mary, His mother, did.
As daughters of Elisabetta, we are challenged to recognize our own crosses in the following of Christ Crucified, identifying ourselves with Him in every painful situation, trusting that resurrection follows.
Jesus Christ has already suffered for our sake, more than we suffer, and everyone is obliged to follow him on the road to Calvary and the cross. So, if everyone must follow him, how much more must he be followed by those who have dedicated themselves in a special way to Jesus Crucified.
Blessed Elisabetta Renzi