Nasce in Catalogna nel 1463. Per obbedire ai genitori, appena quindicenne, si sposò con Giovanni Llonc. Rimasta paralizzata, dopo un viaggio a Loreto si sentì risnata. Trasferitasi a Napoli con il marito, a vent’anni rimase vedova con tre figli. Accompagnata spiritualmente da San Gaetano da Thiene, si diede alle opere di carità. Fece di tutto per portare i cappuccini a Napoli costruendo il convento di S. Eframo vecchio. All’età di 60 anni entrò nel monastero di S. Maria di Gerusalemme più noto come Monastero delle Trentrè da lei fondato. Qui muore il 21 dicembre 1542. La Causa fu introdotta il 4 settembre 1892. Il decreto di validità giuridica fu emesso il 9 gennaio 1899. Venerabile. Il 6 marzo 2004 si riavvia la Causa con l’Indagine suppletiva sulla fama di santità. Conclusa l’indagine suppletiva si è allestita la Positio. Il 9 maggio 2015 i Consultori storici hanno approvato la Positio e il successivo 1 settembre 2015 è stata presentata in Congregazione. Il 1 dicembre 2016 a Napoli si chiede l’Inchiesta diocesana su un presunto miracolo attribuito alla Serva di Dio. Il 14 marzo 2017 il Congrgesso dei Teologi rispondo affermativamente al dubbio circa le virtù eroiche della Serva di Dio. I Cardinali e Vescovi riuniti in Sessione Ordinaria il 26 settembre 2017 riconoscono le virtù della Serva di Dio. Il 9 ottobre 2017 il Santo Padre il autorizza la promulgazione del Decreto super virtutibus. Venerabile. È stato presentato il Summarium del presunto miracolo in data 25 gennaio 2019.
Five hundred years later the works of Servant of God Maria Lorenza Longo continue to give glory to God and are a sign of his goodness to his children.
The institutions of her founding, such as the Santa Maria del Popolo hospital for incurables and the proto-monastery of the Order of Capuchin Poor Clares, called St. Mary in Jerusalem, continue to shine with lively beauty, charity, prayer, and contemplation in the Church of Naples and of the world.
Maria Lorenza Longo was born in Lleida, Catalonia around 1463. She married Joan Llonc (Longo), a Valencian, and had three children. Around 1480, she was poisoned by one of her servants during a ball and become paralyzed in her hands and feet. In 1506, after a discernment accompanied by much prayer and on the advice of a hermit, she went to Naples with her husband, who was regent of the chancery of King Ferdinand II of Aragon ‘the Catholic’. Her husband died prematurely in 1509.
According to her wishes, Maria Lorenza was then brought on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Loreto where she was cured miraculously during the celebration of Holy Mass. Upon her return she decided to dedicate herself to the poor and the sick at the entrance of San Nicolo al Molo. In 1519, at the invitation of Ettore Vernazza, Genovese notary and founder of the Society of Divine Love, she took up, by divine inspiration, the project of the hospital for incurables in Naples, which was constructed on its current site in 1522.
After assisting the sick for thirteen years, and while under the direction of St. Cajetan, Maria Lorenza, though she wanted to go the Holy Land in pilgrimage, acquiesced to the wish of the Lord for the founding of a monastery of virgins in Naples, which she did with some friends. Amidst many trials, but with the encouragement of Cardinal Andrea Matteo Palmieri, Maria Lorenza obtained from Pope Paul III the bull of foundation for the monastery of St. Mary in Jerusalem, Debitum pastoralis officii. The monastery would be under the rule of St. Clare of Assisi and the Constitutions and norms of enclosure of St. Colette of Corbie. Thus twelve nuns made their religious vows together and opened the possibility for many young women of more humble means to respond to the contemplative vocation. The following year the number was fixed at thirty-three, the number by which the monastery of the Capuchin Poor Clares is known to this day. (Le Trentatré)
In 1538, by a papal motu proprio, the monastery was entrusted to the care of the Capuchins.
Maria Lorenza Longo died in 1539.
Appreciated by both popes and bishops, including St. Charles Borromeo, the new reform of Capuchin women expended into all of Italy, Spain, and France, and even reached the new world with foundations in North and South America.
Today, after five hundred years, the Santa Maria del Popolo hospital for incurables continues its work, and the Order of Capuchin Poor Clares, which recognizes Maria Lorenza Longo as its foundress, counts about two hundred monasteries all over the world. About ten Capuchin Poor Clare nuns have been recognized as saints and blesseds.