I first saw this uplifting story in the New York Times a little while ago. Do read on, I think you'll be charmed...
High in the hills of Umbria sits a beautiful medieval monastery, St Rita's. It's named after the patron saint of weddings and for 600 years it has been a place of pilgrimage for Italian women, praying to the saint to protect their marriage. And often leaving their wedding dress as a gift of thanks...
And it is here that the wonderful Sister Maria Laura has a completely unique atelier - providing disadvantaged brides-to-be with the dress of their dreams, all completely free.
Before taking her vows twenty years ago at the age of 28, Sister Maria was a seamstress and designer. Now she applies her skills to re-fitting and re-styling dresses for any bride who could not otherwise afford one!
In return, the brides often make a donation, or simply return their dress after the wedding so that someone else can enjoy it. Sister Maria never leaves the convent, and now has so many brides visiting that this has become a full-time occupation. In her own words...
"It gives me great joy to see a young woman who can fulfil her dream of love with a dress appropriate for the happiest day of her life."
What a darling! Sister Maria, we salute you.
Enjoy your weekends, Heavenly friends, and see you again next week.Love
Heavenly Vintage Brides
If you liked this story, try more Inspire Me features
If you'd like to read more about Sister Maria,
there is also a feature in Stella Magazine.
Photos c. Nadia Shira Cohen