We stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us.
The Adorers of the Blood of Christ were originally founded in 1834 as a teaching order by the Italian, St. Maria De Mattias.
Maria Matilde De Mattias was born on February 4, 1805, in the small mountain village of Vallecorsa, Italy. At that period in history Italy was suffering from political and social upheavals caused by the Napoleonic rule. Everywhere practical and religious education were being neglected, and the daily life of the people had declined.
Teenage Maria felt invited to dedicate herself to the service of God while praying one day in her bedroom. During the thirty-two years between that first calling and her death in 1866, Maria established nearly seventy schools. Most of these were located in under-served towns and rural areas. Maria made regular visits to the schools, often traveling from place to place on foot or by horseback.
After beginning her ministry, other women began to join her work, and the community eventually opened missions in Europe, the U.S., China, Brazil, Congo, Australia and other places throughout the world. Maria was canonized in 2003.
Our foundress educated women and girls at a time when it was unpopular to do so. It is her courage, compassion, and commitment that continues to inspire us.
Adorers in the United States
A month short of ten years after Maria’s death Mother Clementine Zerr founded the Adorers’ first American mission at Ruma, Illinois, and began undertaking teaching and hospital ministries. In 1893, Mother Clementine began sending Sisters to teach in Kansas, which led to the establishment in 1902 of a motherhouse in Wichita. Pilgrim Adorers from Bosnia came to Illinois in 1906, later establishing a ministry to the elderly in 1925 in Columbia, Pennsylvania. In 1929, the vicariates of Columbia, Ruma and Wichita became provinces and, in October 2000, converged to become the United States Region of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ.