June 9, 2017

Saint Joachina de Vedruna, Religious

Saint Joachina de Vedruna

Optional Memorial of St. Joachina de Vedruna, June 10th 

St. Joachina de Vedruna de Mas was born on April 16, 1783 in Barcelona, Spain, on the verge of a period of war and unrest. A loving and generous daughter, she exhibited the deep piety that would mark her life's work and vocation. At age 12, Joachina asked to enter the cloistered Carmelite convent, only to be turned away. Her parents hoped this childhood aspiration would pass. And for a time it did.

She married Theodore de Mas in 1799, a kind and devout officer many years her senior, but was widowed in 1816. Their family was forcibly made to flee when Napoleon invaded Spain. Theodore remained to fight the French invaders, dying shortly thereafter. Joachina brought up their nine children with care. One by one, her children began to get married and leave home. Joachina weighted the future. After much reflection and prayer, she resolved to do works of mercy for others

In 1826, guided by the Holy Spirit, she founded the Congregation of Carmelite Sisters of Charity which spread throughout Catalonia, opening numerous houses for the care of the sick and to assist after those who suffered from poverty and a lack of education. She found her inspiration in the mystery and self-emptying love of the Holy Trinity. The distinguishing features of her Order's spirituality were her love of prayer, self-denial, detachment, humility and charity toward others.

She died at Vich on August 28, 1854. She was beatified on May 19, 1940 by Pope Pius XII and canonized on April 12, 1959 by Saint John XXIII. Her remains were found to be incorrupt and rest in the Order's motherhouse in Vich. 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 holy example, and devote our lives to serving you in our brothers and sisters. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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