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Princess Maria Immacolata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies

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Title: Princess Maria Immacolata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies  
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Subject: Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies, Charles III, Duke of Parma, Maria Theresa of Austria (1816–1867), Prince Henry, Count of Bardi, Princess Maria Immaculata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Infanta Adelgundes, Duchess of Guimarães
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Princess Maria Immacolata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies

Princess Maria Immacolata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
Countess of Bardi

Spouse Prince Henry of Bourbon-Parma, Count of Bardi
Full name
Maria Immacolata Luisa
House House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
House of Bourbon-Parma
Father Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies
Mother Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria
Born (1855-01-21)21 January 1855
Naples, Two Sicilies
Died 23 February 1874(1874-02-23) (aged 19)
Pau, Armagnac, France

Princess Maria Immacolata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (full Italian name: Maria Immacolata Luisa di Borbone, Principessa di Borbone delle Due Sicilie) (21 January 1855, Naples, Two Sicilies[1] – 23 Februar 1873, Pau, Armagnac, France[2]) was the youngest daughter of King Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies and his wife Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria.[1] She was known for her piety and for her charity to the poor.

Early life

Maria Immacolata was born at the Palace of Caserta. She was baptised with the names Maria Immacolata Luisa; her godmother was Princess Maria Luisa Carlota of Parma.[3] Her father died when she was only four years old and she was raised primarily by her mother.[4]

In 1860, when Maria Immacolata was five, her half-brother King Francis II of the Two Sicilies was defeated by the Expedition of the Thousand. She and her family fled to Rome where they resided briefly at the Quirinal Palace at the invitation of the Pope Pius IX.[5] Her mother rented the Palazzo Nipoti in Rome, and it was there that she lived for the next seven years.[6]

Even as a child Maria Immacolata was known for her piety. She was particularly devoted to her namesake patrons, the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Saint Aloysius Gonzaga. On 24 December 1865, she made her first communion in the chapel in the Roman College where Saint Aloysius made his vows.[7]

In the summer of 1867 Maria Immacolata and her family were vacationing at Albano Laziale when cholera broke out. Her mother died on 8 August, followed by her youngest brother Gennaro on 13 August.[8]

Following their mother's death, Maria Immacolata and her siblings moved into the Palazzo Farnese, the residence of her half-brother King Francis II.[9] She was taught Italian, French, and German. She became a competent artist in both oil and watercolour.[10]

In October 1867 Rome was attacked by the forces of Giuseppe Garibaldi. Maria Immacolata and her sister Maria Pia were given refuge in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City until the papal victory at the Battle of Mentana.[11]

In 1870 Rome was again attacked by the armies of the King of Italy. Maria Immacolata and her sister Maria Pia fled to Bolzano and then to Cannes in France.[12]

Marriage

On 25 November 1873 in Cannes, Maria Immacolata married Prince Henry of Bourbon-Parma, Count of Bardi, son of Charles III, Duke of Parma and his wife Princess Louise Marie Thérèse of France.[13] Henry's older brother Robert had married Maria Immacolata's older sister Maria Pia in 1869.

After the wedding Henry and Maria Immacolata went to Egypt for their honeymoon.[14] There she became sick with a fever.[15] The couple decided to return home, and on 30 March 1874 they disembarked at Marseilles.

Death

It was decided to take Maria Immacolata to the town of Cauterets where there were sulphur baths. On the way they stopped at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes where she was immersed in the water twice.[16] Her physicians said that her case was hopeless, and at the end of July it was decided to move her to Pau.[17] She died there on 23 February.

Maria Immacolata's remains were buried in the chapel at Villa Borbone, near Viareggio.[18]

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 21 January 1855 – 25 November 1873: Her Royal Highness Princess Maria Immacolata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
  • 25 November 1873 – 23 February 1874: Her Royal Highness The Countess of Bardi

Ancestry

Notes

Further reading

  • "Maria Immacolata of Bourbon". Catholic World 21 (1875): 670-81.
  • Spillmann, Giovanni. Intorno alla vita di Sua Altezza Reale Maria Immacolata di Borbone, contessa di Bardi. Roma: Tipografia Poliglotta della S.C. di Propaganda, 1875.
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