Our foundress, Venerable Maria Celeste Crostorosa was born into a noble family in Naples on October 31st, 1696.
At the age of twenty she entered a convent in Marigliano near Naples. When the convent was closed down she went to the convent of Scala at Salerno where she had a revelation which ultimately led to her founding of the Redemptoristine Order with its distinctive deep red habit and its own rule.
The spiritual journey of Sr. Maria was favoured with many mystical experiences. She also enjoyed the close friendship and co-operation of St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) the founder of the Redemptorists and St. Gerard Majella (1726-1755).
Maria’s spirituality is characterized by obedience to conscience, the search for the meaning of the Gospels and by the living of a simple life centred on prayer. Mother Celeste was of strong character, was determined and energetic. She was intelligent and with great intuition knew the urgent needs of the society of her time.
She was above all a mystic and lived in deep communion with Christ. She invites us to contemplate and to meditate on the Cross as the great mystery of love and to see in this mystery the desire of love and communion with God. We are to feel that we are co-responsible together with Christ in giving real hope and genuine human dignity to each other, especially to those who feel oppressed by others.
Celeste was so convinced that there was no Christian community and much less any religious community if we are not living transparent memory of Christ, the Saviour. It is a question here of making Christ present in our world. The spirituality of Maria Celeste is that of giving witness, a spirituality of everyday life, lived in communion with the Redeemer and thus transformed into a sacrament, into a Eucharist for the redemption of all. This spirituality should radiate and go forth from the monastery giving a contemplative dimension to the reality of the life of every Christian.
Our Father has wished that The Order of the Most Holy Redeemer should have a specific mission in the church: to be a living witness, clear and radiant of the love that he has for us in Christ. It is through him that we have known and received this love which is given to all but especially to the poor.
Today the Redemptoristines are spread throughout Europe, USA, Canada, Africa, Asia and Australia.