The Book of Revelation has shown us a vision of Jerusalem “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (21:2). Although these words refer to the Church, we can also apply them to the two Discalced Carmelites who are proclaimed blessed at this celebration, having reached the same ideal by different paths: Mother Sagrario of St Aloysius Gonzaga and Mother Maravillas de Jesús. Adorned with Christian virtues, their human qualities and their commitment to the Lord in the Teresian Carmel, today they both stand before the eyes of the Christian people as brides of Christ.
Mother María Sagrario, a pharmacist in her youth and a Christian example for those who practise that noble profession, gave up everything to live for God alone in Christ Jesus (cf. Rom 6:11) in the Discalced Carmelite Monastery of St Anne and St Joseph in Madrid. There her commitment to the Lord matured, and she learned from him to serve and to sacrifice herself for her brothers and sisters. This [is] how in the turbulent events of July 1936 she found the strength not to betray priests and friends of the community, facing death with integrity for her state as a Carmelite and to save others.
Mother Maravillas de Jesús, also a Discalced Carmelite, is another shining example of holiness whom the Church, in proclaiming her blessed, holds up today for the veneration of the faithful. This distinguished religious from Madrid sought God throughout her life and consecrated herself entirely to him in the quiet life of Carmel. She founded a monastery in Cerro de los Ángeles, the geographical centre of Spain, next to the Sacred Heart Monument to which the nation had been consecrated. Forced by the Civil War to leave her convent, she devoted all her energies to ensuring that the order would survive, which led her to make many foundations where she wanted the spirit of penance, sacrifice and recollection, characteristic of the Teresian reform, to prevail.
A well-known person in her time, she was able to make the most of this fact to attract many souls to God. She used all the help she received to aid monasteries, priests, seminaries and religious works in need. For this reason many had reason to be grateful to her. She was prioress for almost all her religious life, acting as a true Mother to her sisters. She lived with heroic faith, formed in response to an austere vocation, by putting God at the centre of her life. After suffering many trials, she died repeating: “What happiness to die a Carmelite!”. Her life and death are an eloquent message of hope for the world, so much in need of values and, at times, so tempted by hedonism, the easy life and living without God.
Saint John Paul II
Homily, 10 May 1998 (excerpt)
Beatification of 12 Servants of God
The Hagiography Circle website has detailed information on the status of the cause of canonization of Blessed Maria Sagrario, where she is listed as cause no. 88. There recently has been a change in the general curia staff of the Discalced Carmelite Order, and a new General Postulator was appointed for her cause, Father Marco Chiesa, O.C.D.
Blessed Maria Sagrario’s feast day is now observed on July 24, combined with our Blessed Martyrs of Guadalajara. The Beata Maria Sagrario blog has the following prayer for her canonization. To our knowledge, no official English translation is offered by the Vice-Postulator.
¡Oh Jesús que dijiste: “Nadie tiene amor más grande que el que da la vida por sus amigos”! Por la entrega que de ella hizo tu sierva la Beata María Sagrario, prefiriendo la muerte antes que ser infiel al cumplimiento de sus deberes, te suplicamos que infundas en nuestra alma el espíritu de oración y sacrificio, del cual nos dio ejemplo en su vida y heroica muerte. Dígnate glorificarla con la canonización en la Iglesia y concédenos ahora la gracia que por su intercesión de pedimos. Por Jesucristo nuestro Señor. Amén
(Padre Nuestro, Avemaría y Gloria).