Blessed Marija of Crucified Jesus Petković

Marija was born in Blato on the island of Korčula on December 10, 1892 and died in Rome on July 9, 1966. At an early age she took the vow of purity. She ran three religious associations and taught children Religion and main subjects at school. Encouraged by bishop Marčelić, she founded The Congregation of the Daughters of Mercy, the third order of St. Francis.

Its purpose was to spread the cognition of God’s love and mercy. She took the name Marija of the Crucified Jesus and performed the function of Superior General of the Congregration.

The nuns took care of 300 children and helped the poor and widows. In 1923 she took over the care of children in the children’s home Kolevka in Subotica, after which she opened many shelters for children in Slavonia, Vojvodina, Macedonia and Serbia.

The congregation continued to operate even in Argentina where all the nuns were devoted to working with children, nursery schools, schools and sick children. Even when she stopped performing her duty of Superior General, she monitored the congregation’s work and supported venerating God as Father and His mercy.

She was buried at a Roman cemetery, and three years after her death her remains were relocated to the home chapel and finally to her birthplace, Blato.

In 2002 the Congregation for the Causes of Saints issued a Decree of Heroic Virtues of the Servant of God and Decree of Miracle acknowledging the rescue of twenty sailors from a sunken Peruvian military submarine Pacocha. Pope John Paul II beatified her in Dubrovnik during his third papal visit to Croatia.