Friday, May 19, 2006

Saint of the Day: Joachina Vedruna de Mas


Joachina was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1783. She married the Spanish nobleman Theodore de Mas, a lawyer, with whom she had nine children. In 1816, Theodore was killed in the Napoleonic wars. The family then moved to Catalonia where Joachina became a Third Order Franciscan.

Ten years later, after ensuring that her children were provided for, the 42-year-old Joaquina retired to Vich, where she founded the Institute of the Carmelites of Charity. The Order spread throughout Catalonia, establishing houses for the care of the sick and the education of children, especially the poor.

Joachina was greatly drawn to contemplating the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Her spritual life was marked by prayer, mortification, detachment, humility and love. Joachina was a mystic who had the gifts of ectasies, levitations, and visions. She made her final vows to St. Anthony Mary Claret.

The last years of her life were complicated by a severe stroke. She died of cholera at Vich in 1854, was beatified on May 19, 1940, and canonized on May 12, 1959.

St. Joachina is the patron saint of abuse victims, those who have suffered the loss of children, people in exile, and widows.

Prayer

Lord God,
you gave St Joachina de Vedruna to your Church
for the Christian education of youth
and the care of the sick.
May we follow her example,
and lovingly devote our lives
to serving you in our brothers and sisters.
Grant this through Christ, our Lord.

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