Queen Maria Cristina of Savoy (1812-36), whose husband ruled the largest of the Italian kingdoms before national unification, was beatified in Naples on January 25.
The daughter of King Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia and Archduchess Maria
Teresa of Austria-Este, Maria Cristina married King Ferdinand II of the
Two Sicilies in 1832.
The queen died following the birth of their only
In his homily at the Mass of beatification, Cardinal Angelo Amato, the
prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, discussed the
queen’s innocence, modesty, and mortification with respect to food and
entertainment, as well as her love for the poor and sick.
Christians, the prelate emphasized, are given opportunities to become
holy, whatever their state of life.
Following his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis described Queen Maria
Cristina as a “woman of deep spirituality and great humility.”
“She was able to bear the suffering of her people, becoming a true
mother of the poor,” he added.
“Her extraordinary example of charity
shows that the good life of the Gospel is possible in every environment
and social status.”