May 22, 2008

Saint Joachina de Vedruna de Mas

Also known as Joachima de Vedruna & Joaquina de Vedruna
1783-1854 - Optional Memorial, May 22

    Saint Joachina, was born on 16th April 1783 in Barcelona, Spain. She married a Spanish nobleman, Theodore de Mas in 1799, with whom she had nine children, but was widowed in 1816, when Theodore was killed in the Napoleonic wars. In 1826, Ten years later, after ensuring that her children were provided for, the 42-year-old Joachina retired to Vich.

     Guided by the Holy Spirit, she founded the Congregation of Carmelite Sisters of Charity. In spite of serious challenges posed by civil war and secular opposition, the institute soon spread into Catalonia, opening numerous houses for the care of the sick and to help and look after those who suffered from poverty and a lack of education. Thereafter communities were established throughout Spain and South America.
     She found her inspiration in the mystery of the Holy Trinity and the distinguishing features of her spirituality were her love of prayer, self-denial, detachment, humility and her love for others. She died at Vich on August 28th, 1854. Although she died during a cholera epidemic, she was slowly dying of paralysis for four years. Nevertheless, Joachina portrayed the highest level of trust in God, selflessness, and prayer. She was beatified on 19th May 1940 and canonized on 12th April 1959.

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