Friday, May 3, 2013

Queen Maria Cristina of Savoy, new Servant of God

On Friday, at the Vatican, His Holiness Pope Francis officially endorsed a miracle attributed to the intercession of Her Majesty Queen Maria Cristina of Savoy, consort of King Ferdinando II and mother of King Francesco II of the Two-Sicilies. Queen Maria Cristina was the daughter of HM King Vittorio Emanuele I of Piedmont-Sardinia, sister of Duchess Maria Beatrice of Modena ("Queen Mary" to British Jacobites) and Empress Maria Anna (consort to Kaiser Ferdinand I of Austria). Queen Maria Cristina died when she was only 23-years old, a few days after giving birth to the last King of the Two Sicilies but who already had a reputation for great faith and piety. In 1859 her cause for canonization was opened and 13 years later she was declared venerable. With the recognition of this miracle by the Pope the late queen is on the way to being beatified, the final step before sainthood. Religious devotion is nothing new for the House of Savoy, especially among the female members, and Queen Maria Cristina is in good company with Princess Maria Clotilde of Savoy (daughter of King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy), wife of Napoleon Joseph Charles Paul Bonaparte, who has been declared a ‘Servant of God’ and also has a cause for canonization open. Princess Maria Felicita of Savoy (daughter of King Charles Emmanuel III) had such a reputation for faith that if she has no cause open she probably should have, Queen Elena of Montenegro (wife of King Victor Emmanuel III) has a cause being considered and among the male members of the family there have been cases such as Blessed Amadeus IX and Blessed Umberto III to point to and, I would say, the case of King Charles Emmanuel IV would be worth investigating.

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