The Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus will celebrate the beatification of their foundress, Blessed Clelia Merloni, with a Mass of thanksgiving celebrated by Cardinal Dolan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan Saturday, Feb. 9, at 2 p.m.
A first-class relic will be present for veneration after the Mass, which will be open to the public. Fifty Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus sisters from New York and Connecticut are expected to attend the Mass.
Born in 1861 in Italy, Blessed Clelia founded the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1894. She died in 1930, and a cause for her beatification began in 1988.
Blessed Clelia was beatified at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome Nov. 3.
The Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus have more than 1,000 members serving in 15 countries. They came to the United States in 1902, when they began working on behalf of Italian immigrants in Boston. They arrived in the archdiocese in 1926 to work with Italian immigrant children at St. Joseph School on Madison Street in lower Manhattan.
The sisters currently serve in the archdiocese at Our Lady of Pompeii School, Manhattan; Santa Maria School and Sacred Heart Learning Center, both in the Bronx; St. Joseph Medical Center, Yonkers; and Immaculate Conception parish, Tuckahoe.
“We are beyond thrilled to celebrate with the universal Church this beatification of Clelia Merloni,” said Sister Ritamary Schulz, A.S.C.J., provincial superior for the U.S. province.
“She gives us a powerful witness as a woman with tremendous faith who gave her life in the service of the poor and marginalized. She courageously shows us the way to forgiveness and to peaceful acceptance of suffering by keeping her eyes fixed on Jesus and his merciful love for everyone.”