The Order of the Most Holy Redeemer (Latin: Ordo Sanctissimi Redemptoris; abbreviated OSsR), also commonly known as the Redemptoristines, is a female contemplative religious order of the Catholic Church. It was formed in 1731, and is the female counterpart to the Redemptorists.
The cradle of the Redemptoristines is Scala, not far from Amalfi, Italy. Thomas Falcoia, of the Congregation Pii Operarii, formed a community of nuns there and gave them a rule. Later he became Bishop of Castellammare. He was director of Alphonsus Liguori when a new rule was said to have been revealed to Sister Maria Celeste Crostarosa in a vision.
The bishop favoured the rule and asked Alphonsus to give the nuns the spiritual exercises and to organize the community as he judged best. The congregation was founded as an order of contemplative nuns. Alphonsus set up observance of the new rule by meditation on the life and virtues of Christ. The details of their daily life were to commemorate phases of His life. They were to pray in a special manner for the apostolic works of the Redemptorists.
Nearly a hundred years after the foundation at Scala, Joseph Passerat sent two ladies, Mlle. Eugénie Dijon and the Countess Welsersheim, to Sant'Agata dei Goti to learn the rule and spirit of the Redemptoristines. They received the habit at Rome from Cardinal Carlo Odescalchi. They founded houses at Vienna and Bruges.
There are monasteries and communities of the institute in Angola, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Brazil, Burkina-Faso, Canada, Columbia, France, Germany, Haiti, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Thailand, the United States, and Venezuela. Community life is centered around the celebration of Mass and the liturgy of the hours. Part of their support derives from sewing ceremonial capes for the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulcher.
Their traditional habit is deep red, and the scapular and choir-mantle blue, on the scapular there is a coloured medallion of the Most Holy Redeemer. The 15-decade rosary hangs at the side bearing a medal upon one side of which are embossed the emblems of the Saviour's passion. The nuns wear two veils: one white and another black, folded back over the head, but which may be drawn forward over the face and as far as the medallion on the scapular. Some houses wear a modified habit of a red dress, a black veil and a medal of the Holy Redeemer on one side and St. Alphonsus on the other that is suspended on a chain.