September 12, 2008
Blessed Mary of Jesus
1560-1640 – Memorial - September 12
Mary Lopez Rivas was born in Spain on August l8, 1560. Her father died when she was very young, and so her paternal grandparents raised her. A Jesuit who encouraged her to enter Carmel looked after her spiritual life. Holy Mother Teresa herself received her for the Toledo monastery. She had very frail health, but non the less when Teresa sent her to them, she wrote, "I send her with a dowry of 5000 escudos but I myself would give as much again to have her here with me." "Let her not be considered as one of the others because I hope in God she will be a prodigy.
Later on, because of her ill health, the Toledo community was considering dismissing her, but ST Teresa wrote to them, "think well of what you are doing, because if you do not admit her to profession, I shall have her come to Avila and admit her for the Monastery here. That we will have her will be the most fortunate of all of us. On my part, I would rather her with me always, in my monasteries, even if she had to stay in bed all her life. Notwithstanding her ill health, Mary of Jesus loved Carmel and lived a long time. She always remained precious to Mother Teresa, and Holy Mother showed great signs of special love and maternal care for her.
Mary of Jesus was several times, sacristan, Novice mistress and Prioress. St. Teresa often went to her for council and light and at one time exclaimed to her, “it must be all as you say, for you are my "little theologian".... and history has made *that*, which she is called. She had a deep and rich interior life of communication with Jesus and was sent to found the monastery in Cuerva served as mistress of novices for 6 months and returned to Toledo.
Accused falsely by those who were jealous of her great interior holiness and genuine serenity and love, lies were told to the Provincial and then the General and were temporarily believed, and she was removed from office. Through all this she remained peaceful and respectful of authority. Hers was a unique physical illness and yet her body lies incorrupt to this day in Toledo Carmel.
She was the recipient of great graces and responded wholeheartedly and unreservedly to them. She was devoted to the Sacred Heart in the Blessed Sacrament and also had a special devotion to the Holy Child. Our Lord gave her his crown of thorns to wear and later she manifested the signs of the stigmata.
She moved into the larger life on September 13, 1640.