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Queen Maria Cristina of Savoy (1812-36), whose husband, King Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies, ruled the largest of the Italian kingdoms before national unification, was beatified in Naples on 25 January 2014.

TRH the Duke and Duchess of Noto, The Duchess of Calabria, the Duke and Duchess of Castro, the Duke of Capua, the Duchesses of Palermo and Capri, Archduchess Maria and Archduke Simeon of Austria, Princess Ines de Borbon Dos Sicilias de Carelli Palombi, Princess Beatrice de Bourbon-Deux Siciles, Prince Casimiro di Borbone-Due Sicilie and his sons Prince Luigi Alfonso and the Rev Alessandro di Borbone-Due Sicilie, the Duke of Braganza, the Duke and Duchess of Savoy (Amadeo and Silvia), Princess Maria Gabriela of Savoy, Archduke Martin of Austria-Este, Prince Serge of Yugoslavia, Countess Maria Beatrix von und zu Arco-Zinneberg, her daughter Countess Margherita and Prince Manfred of Windisch-Graetz, attended the Beatification and afterwards paid homage at the tomb of the Blessed Queen.

Basilica of Santa Chiara in Naples. Courtesy of Manuel Beninger

In his homily at the Mass of beatification, Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, discussed the queen’s innocence, modesty, and mortification with respect to food and entertainment, as well as her love for the poor and sick. All Christians, the prelate emphasized, are given opportunities to become holy, whatever their state of life.

Following his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis described Queen Maria Cristina as a “woman of deep spirituality and great humility. She was able to bear the suffering of her people, becoming a true mother of the poor,” he added. “Her extraordinary example of charity shows that the good life of the Gospel is possible in every environment and social status.”

see Regina di Cuore; “Credo, Domine! Credo, Domine!”