Blessed Maria Gargani

Blessed Maria GarganiAlso known as

  • Maria Crocifissa del Divino Amore
  • Maria Crocifissa of Divine Love



Youngest of eight children born to Rocco Gargani and Angiolina De Paola. Hers was a pious family, and her father made sure the children learned their faith. Educated in Morra de Sanctis and Avellino in Italy, and earned a master’s degree in 1913. School teacher in San Marco la Catola, Foggia, Italy from 1913 to 1928. Feeling a call to religious life, she joined the Secular Franciscan Order in 1914, and developed a deep devotion to Saint Francis of Assisi. She taught catechism to children, and helped them prepare for First Communion. She even purchased a projector, a great novelty at the time, to display images to explain the life of Christ. Member of Catholic Action In August 1916 she became the spiritual student of Saint Padre Pio; he was not only her spiritual director but they became friends and correspondents for over 50 years. Taught in Volturara Appula, Italy from 1928 to 1945. In 1934 she received diocesan permission to form a new congregation of women based at the former convent of Santa Maria della Sanità. These women became the core of the Sisters Apostles of the Sacred Heart, founded on 11 February 1936. The Sisters moved to Naples, Italy in early 1945, and on 18 April 1945 they made their profession; Blessed Maria took the name Sister Maria Crocifissa of Divine Love. From 1946 until her retirement, Sister Maria taught in Naples and worked to spread the work of the Sisters. Pope John XXIII gave the Sisters full pontifical approval on 12 March 1963, and they continue their good work today.






MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Maria Gargani“. CatholicSaints.Info. 12 February 2019. Web. 18 April 2021. <>