Seven words of Saint John Paul II on the Blessed Celeste Crostarosa


On 11th September was the Memorial of the Blessed Maria Celeste Crostarosa O.Ss.R., we present an article on the Blessed from the portal where Saint John Paul II bequeathed to the Redemptorist Nuns an affectionate message on the life of Blessed Maria Celeste Crostarosa.

On that occasion, 31 October 1996, the third centenary of the birth of the nun, founder of the Order of the Most Holy Redeemer (1696 – 1996), was celebrated. Until then the nun had not been beatified and who would have ever imagined that the Pope would become a saint for the Church.

In his speech, Saint John Paul II left seven messages for religious women, which can also be useful for Christian life. In some of them, the holy Pope indicates characteristics of the blessed’s spirituality, which he has carefully removed from his writings. Here are the messages:


The spiritual proposal of Mother Celeste is profoundly Christocentric.

«It is articulated around the mystery of the incarnate Word that the Spirit incessantly actualizes in us, transforming our life into his: Christ can thus be reborn in the world in the souls of his loved ones» (see Autobiography).


He constantly refers to the Eucharist as a source of transfiguration.

«In fact, it indicates the full Eucharistic transformation as the point of arrival of every spiritual journey: ‘I approached Holy Communion and you changed me in you because I entered the humanity of your divine Word and I began to sacrifice myself for the Father for all” and to savor “merits and graces” which, through his passion, Christ has spread to “all the souls of the faithful”, uniting them and glorifying them in their “humanity united to the Word” (see Sister Maria Celeste Crostarosa, Retention of the soul with the Groom Jesus [unpublished manuscript], 147).


Sister Celeste adds another equally important characteristic: living memory necessarily arises from imitation.

“The Redemptorists must impress upon themselves ‘the life and true likeness’ of the Redeemer, becoming ‘a living and lively portrait’ (see Spicilegium Historicum). It should never be forgotten, however, that it is a participatory imitation carried out by the Spirit, who never tires of tracing in us the fullness of the likeness of Christ”.


Contemplation must be the center of community life.

“The gaze must remain fixed on Christ to allow itself to be irradiated and transformed in Him by the Spirit, so as to become a transparent sign for the brothers for the glory of the Father. All this requires an incessant and loving commitment to deepening the Gospel, also according to the recommendation of its Foundress, who saw the Gospel passage proposed daily in the liturgy as the basis of the entire day.”


The fraternal charity that arises from contemplation is grace.

«You must know how to share with your brothers that evangelical welcome, constantly recalled by your Constitutions. Prayer lived in this way makes your monasteries centers of Christian welcome for those seeking a simple and transparent life to find the full meaning of life in Christ. This applies to everyone, but especially to young people, today more in need than in the past of powerful experiences and more exposed to the charm of alienating manipulations. However, know how to develop all this in fidelity to the Alphonsian legacy, which has always privileged the poor.”


Fidelity requires the courage of incessant renewal.

«It is necessary to “courageously re-propose the initiative, inventiveness and sanctity of the Founders as a response to the signs of the times that emerge in today’s world” (see John Paul II, Vita consacrata, 37). It is a challenge that female cloistered life must be lived today with particular courage in the face of the rapid evolution of the female world: may your presence and your testimony be a precious contribution, so that the path of today’s women is full of authentically evangelical ideas depth spiritual. “Creative fidelity” also invites us to seek ways that allow the entire Order to take care of the needs of each monastery.”


It is necessary to contemplate God’s action in Mary.

“The contemplation of the “wonders worked by the Lord in Mary” and the constant effort for you to “mature an ever truer and deeper Marian piety,” as your Constitutions state, contribute to giving impetus and confidence.” )

Biography of Blessed Maria Celeste Crostarosa O.Ss.R.

From the Redemptorist site Sant’Agata Madre Maria Celeste Crostarosa