>Commemoration: Christina Rossetti
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Annually on April 27
O God, whom heaven cannot hold, you inspired Christina Rossetti to express the mystery of the Incarnation through her poems: Help us to follow her example in giving our hearts to Christ, who is love; and who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
From Holy Women, Holy Men:
Christina Rosetti, among the more important poets of the nineteenth
century, was born in 1830 to a professor and his devout, evangelical
wife. Her eldest sister, Maria, entered an Anglican convent and her
poet-painter brother, Dante, was a leading figure in the Pre-Raphaelite
movement of the nineteenth century. She suffered from poor health
most of her life, being diagnosed variously with tuberculosis or
angina and led a retiring, somewhat cloistered life. In spite of this she
produced an enormous quantity of verse and was in lively and ongoing
conversation with members of Dante’s “Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.”
She died of cancer in 1884.
Unlike some of the Pre-Raphaelites with whom she was in
relationship, Rosetti embraced Christian faith and practice. Over
five hundred of her poems were devotional. They were related to the
liturgy, to the feasts and fasts of the liturgical year, and to biblical
“dialogues” with Christ.