Blessed Maria Teresa Casini

Blessed Maria Teresa CasiniAlso known as

  • Sister Maria Serafina of the Heart of Jesus Pierced

Memorial

Profile

Born to a wealthy family, the eldest daughter of Tommaso Casini, an engineer, and Melania Rayner, she was baptized at the age of two days at the cathedral of Frascati, Italy. Her father died when Teresa was about ten years old, and she and her mother moved in with her maternal grandparents. In 1875 she began studying at the school at Santa Rufina in Rome, Italy, which was run by Society of the Sacred Heart nuns. Teresa early felt a call to religious life, and though she had a number of set-backs due to health problems, and faced some family opposition, she entered Poor Clare Sepolte Vive monastery in Rome on 2 February 1885, taking the name Sister Maria Serafina of the Heart of Jesus Pierced.

Poor health caused her to leave the cloister on 2 December 1886. She returned to her family, and spent as much time as she could in prayer in the chapel of the Sacred Heart in the parish church of San Rocco in Frascati. The church and chapel were badly neglected, and Sister Maria worked to restore them. All the while, she kept hearing in inner voice calling her to console the sufferings of the Heart of Jesus, particularly those caused by faithless or undisciplined priests. With this as her goal, and on the advice of her spiritual director, she became part of the community called True Lovers of the Heart of Jesus. When the group’s leader died, Sister Maria gathered everal like-minded sisters, and using her inheritance, on 2 February 1894 she founded the Victims of the Sacred Heart as a cloistered community. They received diocesan approval on 1 April 1896.

With the encouragment of their bishop, Cardinal Francesco Satolli, in the early 20th century the Victims moved from being a clositered order to an active one, working to help priests in their parishes. They founded a school for girls in 1910. On 1 November 1916 changed its name to the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to better reflect their status and mission. In 1925 she starting working with the Little Friends of Jesus, which educated boys, helped support vocations, and later expanded to assist priests with health problems.

Late in 1925 Mother Maria’s health collapsed completely, and she was eventually paralyzed for the final decade of her life. She never stopped working, running the Sisters from bed, meeting, teaching and consoling sisters, priests and seminarians until the end. The Oblate Sisters continue their good work today, assisting and supporting priests and vocations in Italy, the United States, Brazil, Peru and Guinea-Bissau.

Born

Died

Venerated

Beatified

Patronage

Readings

I am peaceful. I feel God is near me. – Blessed Maria’s last words

A contemplative and missionary woman, she made her life an offering of prayer and concrete charity in support of priests. We thank the Lord for her testimony. Pope Francis at the Angelus on the date of Madre Maria’s beatification

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Maria Teresa Casini“. CatholicSaints.Info. 21 March 2019. Web. 21 May 2019. <>