The universal Church celebrates November 20th as the feast day of Blessed Clelia Merloni, the foundress of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus – the Sisters who minister at The Villa. She was born in Forli, Italy in March of 1861. Left motherless at the age of three, she was given a Christian upbringing by her stepmother. She renounced a comfortable life to consecrate herself totally to the Lord. She founded a community of Religious Sisters to spread the tenderness of God’s merciful love to the world, serving the poor and the humble. A victim of slander, she was forced to leave the institute she founded, choosing the way of humility and forgiveness in reparation for offenses to God, for the conversion of sinners and unfaithful priests. In in 1928, Clelia was readmitted to the congregation in Rome where she died on November 21, 1930. She was beatified in Rome on November 3, 2018.
On Monday, November 2oth, we will celebrate with the children and staff the feast day of Blessed Clelia. The prayer service at 8:30 AM will focus on her virtues of forgiveness and charity. Clelia was magnanimous. We can all learn from these words of Blessed Clelia taken from her Diary:
“Jesus not only wants me to forgive from my heart all the wrongs received from my offenders, but to seek to do them as much good as possible, especially to pray for them, to show them compassion and to excuse them, desiring that they too take part in his heavenly glory. He wants me to pray always for those who are the cause of my suffering, never speaking of their faults. He wants me to love those who have offended me, as he has loved us.” (p. 192)
Let us honor her devotion to Christ, pray for her canonization and celebrate the order see founded – The Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus – who seek to imitate her. To learn more details about Blessed Clelia visit: Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus - Our Foundress (ascjus.org)