Gaze at Him tirelessly, gaze at Him in your little heaven and ask Him, when you are gazing there, to give you the virtues that will make you beautiful in His divine eyes.
St Teresa of the Andes
The Writings of St Teresa of Jesus of the Andes
BLESSED MARIA SAGRARIO
OF SAINT ALOYSIUS GONZAGA
Virgin and Martyr
Maria Sagrario was born at Lillo (Toledo) on 8th January 1881. A pharmacist by trade, she was one of the first women in Spain to be admitted to this qualification. In 1915 she entered the Carmel of St. Anne and St. Joseph in Madrid. Through her spirit of prayer and her love for the Eucharist, she was a perfect embodiment of the contemplative and ecclesial ideal of the Teresian Carmel. She was Prioress of her community when she was martyred on 15th August 1936. It was a grace she longed for and accepted in perfection of faith and ardent love for Christ.
From the common of martyrs or of virgins
THE SECOND READING
From the letters and writings of Blessed Maria Sagrario
Following Christ by way of humility and the cross
May Jesus reign always in my heart! The Lord asks me to be humble, to weep over my sins, to love him much, to love my sisters much, to mortify them in nothing, not to mortify myself uselessly, to live recollected in him wanting nothing for myself, completely surrendered to his divine will.
In this vale of tears, suffering will not be lacking, and we should be content to have something to offer to our most beloved Jesus who wanted so much to suffer for love of us. The most direct way to unite ourselves to God is that of the cross, so we should always desire it. May the Lord not permit that I be separated from his divine will.
Blessed be God who gives us these ways of offering ourselves up to his love! The day will arrive when we will rejoice for having suffered in this way. Meanwhile, let us be generous, suffering everything, if not with happiness, at least in close conformity to the divine will of him who suffered so much out of love for us. However great are our sufferings, they come nowhere near his. If you wish to be perfect, seek first of all to be quite humble in thought, word, deed and desire; learn well what this means and work tenaciously to carry it out. Keep your gaze always on our most beloved Jesus, asking him in the depths of his heart what he desires for you, and never deny him anything, even if it means going strongly against the grain for you.
Blessed be he who arranges everything for our good! In possessing him, we possess everything.
I have fought the good fight to the end;
I have run the race to the finish. I have kept the faith;
—all there is to come for me now is the crown of righteousness.
Because of the supreme advantage
of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
I count everything else as loss,
that I may partake of his sufferings
by being molded to the pattern of his death.
—All there is to come for me now is the crown of righteousness.
who by a spirit of prayer and devotion to the Eucharist
prepared Blessed Maria Sagrario to suffer martyrdom,
grant that we, through her example,
may freely spend our lives for you
by faithfully and constantly fulfilling your will.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
Before I go, I want to leave you my statue of the Most Holy Virgin as a sign of our perpetual union. It has been my constant companion. She has been my intimate confidante from the youngest years of my life. She has listened to me tell of my joys and sorrows. She has often comforted my heart broken by sorrow. I am leaving the statue with you to take my place. She has listened to me tell of my joys and sorrows. Talk to her, heart to heart, just as you do to me. When you feel lonely, as I often do, look at her and you will see her smiling face, telling you, “Your mother will never leave you alone.” When you are sorrowful and feeling down and cannot find anyone to whom you can unburden yourself, run to her presence and you Mother’s sorrowful gaze will tell you “There is no sorrow like mine.” She will comfort you, placing in your soul a drop of the consolation that springs from her wounded heart.
Saint Teresa of Jesus of the Andes
She has listened to me tell of my joys and sorrows. Talk to her, heart to heart, just as you do to me.
The Writings of Saint Teresa of Jesus of the Andes: An Abridgement Letter 81 Translated by Michael D. Griffin, OCD Edited by Barbara Haight Garcia, OCDS New Life Publishing, 2003 Photos by Chema Concellón from his coverage of Holy Week in Valladolid, Spain, 2007