5 April 2018

Saint Mary Crescentia (1682-1744)

Anna Hoss, the daughter of poor weavers, was born in a small town of Bavaria. While praying in the chapel of a local convent of Third Order Franciscans, she seemed to hear a voice from the crucifix saying. “This shall be your home. Unfortunately, the convent refused to accept her, for she lacked the required dowry. Nevertheless, when she was twenty-one, the Protestant mayor of the town, who had done favors for the convent, interceded with the nuns to accept her as a postulant. She took the name Mary Crescentia.

Her first year in the convent were filled with trials. The other nuns resented Mary, calling her beggar, assigning her the most menial tasks, and forcing her to sleep in a corner on the floor. She accepted these ordeals with humility. In time, under a new superior, her virtues were recognized. She was accepted as a full member of the community and was steadily entrusted with positions of increasing responsibility: portress, novice mistress, and eventually mother superior. Through her wisdom and prayer, she carried the community to new heights of devotion, and her reputation spread beyond the convent. After her death on April 5, 1744, her tomb became a popular pilgrimage site. She was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2001.

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