Featured Vincentian Blessed of the Month
Image of Blessed Némésia Valle

Blessed Nemesia Valle

Birth: June 26, 1847
Death: December 18, 1916
Beatification: April 25, 2004

Giulia Nemesia Valle (1847-1916) was born in Aosta, Italy, the first child of Anselmo Valle and Cristina Dalbar. She was schooled, catechized, and prepared for the Sacraments at home by a priest who was a friend of the family. At age eleven, Giulia was sent to a boarding school of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne-Anne Thouret in Besancon , France. There she learned French and gained household skills.
  On September 8, 1866 her father accompanied her to the order's novitiate at the Monastery of Saint Margaret in Vercelli. During Giulia's formation, she began to pray a prayer that would remain with her for the rest of her life: "Jesus, empty me of myself, let me be clothed in you. Jesus, for you I live and for you I die..." At the end of her novitiate, she received the religious name Nemesia, after the Roman martyr Nemesius, a deacon who was beheaded c. 260 because of his conversion to Christianity.
  Sister Nemesia was sent to Saint Vincent's Insitute at Tortona, where she worked in the elementary school, the boarding school, and the orphanage. At age forty she was elected superior of her community.
    After 36 years at Tortona, she moved to Borgano, near Turin, to work with novices in a new province of the Sisters of Charity. In the thirteen years before her death, she helped to form about five hundred novices.
Patrons of Santa Isabel College - Manila
Image of Santo Cristo del Tesoro


How it came to its present shrine involves a loving story beginning as far back as 1631. This year marked the arrival of the image in the Philippines from Acapulco for the Real Casa de La Misericordia. It was a gift of Don Juan Lopez, a captain who gave up the career of the sword, for that of charity. He was then bookkeeper of the above mentioned charitable institution. The crucifix was placed in a shrine near the treasury of the Real Casa de La Misericordia as a guardian keeping a vigilant eye on the treasures of his beloved children. In fact, the crucified Christ proved that the treasury remained inexhaustible inspite of the many poor whose cries for alms and mercy were unfailingly answered. Day in and out, the number of grateful devotees to the image increased. The Walled City of Manila counted the Santo Cristo del Tesoro among the images of popular devotion.
What began as the poor's material treasure became an infinite treasury of divine grace, open to all who seek the Lord's mercy in their needs. Even in the mission fields of China and Japan, the missionaries have attributed the conversion of the pagans to Santo Cristo del Tesoro. In times of drought, the Archbishop of Manila with his parishioners joined in a solemn procession in honor of this image, imploring for rain, and the events that followed did not fall short of the trust he and the people of Manila had placed in the Black Christ.
During the Japanese occupation, devotion to Santo Cristo del Tesoro found its way into the dreaded Fort Santiago and other places of torture. Freed or liberated prisoners form the fort went to the chapel of Santa Isabel College in Intramuros to bend their faltering knees before His image in fervent and humble thanksgiving.
In 1625, he founded the Congregation of the Mission, also called Vincentians or Lazarists, to preach and educate priests. In 1633, he founded the "little company" of the Daughters of Charity which numbered around 54,000 all over the world. More than 600 are in the Philippines today.
Much of Santo Cristo del Tesoro is written in the secret pages of the human heart and much is kept in the unfathomable depths of many human souls that has gone along the road to Calvary under the protective wing of the Holy Cross of Christ. In the Book of Life, we will find sometimes the complete history of three hundred and sixty years that has formed a part of an epoch of grace that will end in eternity. Every year, we see glimmer of the exuberant life of grace in the hundreds of eyes that are lovingly raised to Santo Cristo del Tesoro, for on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14), people from all walks of life flock to the chapel of Santa Isabel College to pay homage to the only true treasure they possess in their life.