Saint Mary Micaela

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Saint Mary Micaela

Foundress
(1809-1865)

Maria Soledad Micaela Desmaisieres y Lopez de Dicastillo, often called Madre Sacramento because she founded a religious Order of Sisters consecrated especially to the Blessed Sacrament, was born in Madrid on the first day of January, 1809, during a time of political unrest. From the age of nine to twelve, she was a pupil of the Ursulines of the city of Pau in France. At the age of thirteen, she lost her noble father, a general in the royal army. Her life as she grew older was divided between religious duties, which attracted her, and social ones involving trips, festivals and visits. In 1844, when she visited the Hospital of Saint John of God in Madrid, she saw with compassion the plight of young girls living a disordered life, and in 1845 established a school to re-educate them. She personally took on the direction of the school in January of 1849, and gave it new force.

She resolved in 1847 to live for God alone, and in Paris, during the same year on Pentecost, received a mystical grace of union with God. She was drawn to an ardent love for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, as well as to an apostolate for the feminine youth of Madrid. Until 1856, she dedicated herself entirely to the school she had founded there, and then founded the Institute of Religious Adorer-Slaves of the Most Blessed Sacrament and of Charity. She was directed by Saint Anthony Mary Claret for several years after 1857; and the foundations multiplied. She promoted and animated various apostolic works for the laity — the Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul, Sunday Schools for public school children; she counseled the Sisters of the Love of God at Zamora, at the request of their founder. Her Institute of the Blessed Sacrament was definitively approved by the Holy See in 1866, a year after the death of the Foundress on August 24, 1865, a victim of her charity for the cholera victims of Valencia.

For Madre Sacramento, religious consecration is a service of love. The religious is at the disposition of God to procure His glory; and God gives Himself to her, as she has given herself to Him. For God she loves suffering as a proof of love. The Foundress herself, in the last four years of her life, made the exceptional vow to choose what appeared to her as most perfect, in the practice of her vows of poverty, chastity and obedience; this vow requires a total and heroic gift of self. She was beatified in 1925 and canonized on March 4, 1934 by Pope Pius XI.

Dictionnaire de Spiritualité

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