Did you know that in a small town in Ohio, sisters are praying and offering reparation for priests? And to carry this ministry further in the Diocese of Youngstown, they also care for priests in retirement in two homes. These sisters are the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart and they are in the news because Pope Francis issued a decree last week approving a miracle attributed to their foundress, Ven. Maria Teresa Casini, thus paving the way for her beatification.
Mother Maria Teresa was born in Frascati, Italy, in 1864. She entered religious life as a Poor Clare until ill health forced her to return home. Here, though, she had a vision of Jesus, His Heart pierced by a thorn, His face contorted with pain. He made it known to Teresa that these wounds were caused by unfaithful priests.
Eventually, Teresa and a small group of companions, formed a community whose mission was to sacrifice, pray, supplicate, work and grow weary for the sanctification of priests. She also opened a boarding school for boys to satisfy the Lord’s request to “give me holy priests.”
Mother Teresa died in 1937. The first of her boys, the Little Friends of Jesus, was ordained in 1938. During her life, she offered “the oblation of herself, in faithful response to the Love that overflows from the open Heart of the Savior, and which she imparted to so many daughters and priests.”
Pope Pius X wrote in 1904: “In order to bring about the reign of Jesus Christ, nothing is more necessary than the sanctity of the clergy.” God bless these sisters for their selfless love for these men of God, for through them, through the sacraments, we are fortified and purified for the journey.