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  • Marian Reflections

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Marian thought for February

«It was not enough for God to give us his Son on a Cross, but he also gave Mary to us. When we honor the Virgin Mary, we will love Jesus more. When we place ourselves under her mantle we will better understand divine mercy. How great is God, how sweet is Mary!» (St. Rafael Arnáiz)

St. Rafael Arnaiz Baron was born on April 9, 1911 in Burgos, Spain. He studied in the Jesuit school, where he received his First Holy Communion in 1919. He showed a very great openness to the things that had to do with God from a very early age. The first signs of the illness that would mark the rest of his life appeared in 1922. His father, who believed that his recovery was due to the Virgin Mary’s special intervention, took Rafael to Zaragoza in thanksgiving and consecrated him to Our Lady of Pilar. As years went by, he developed many different traits, such as friendship. He also grew in his Christian life. God placed the desire in his heart to consecrate himself in monastic life. He met the Trappist monks of San Isidro de Dueñas and felt very attracted to that life, because he saw that it corresponded to his intimate desires. He entered there on January 15, 1934. He had to leave the convent three times due to the diabetes that God mysteriously used to test him. Each time he returned, he came back with more desires to be generous and faithful. These desires were fulfilled on April 26, 1938, when he left this world at only 27 years of age. He was declared Blessed by Pope John Paul II in 1992 and canonized on October 11, 2009.

Saint Maravillas of Jesus

s maravillas

“I have taken the Most Blessed Virgin as Mother in a special way, and She is the one who is also in charge of preparing me, protecting me, and sheltering me. How good is this sweetest of Mothers!” – St. Maravillas of Jesus

St. Maravillas of Jesus was born in Madrid, Spain, on November 4, 1891. The desire to consecrate herself to God existed in the heart of Maria de las Maravillas de Jesús since childhood. She entered the Carmel of El Escorial on October 12, 1919, attracted by the spirituality of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross and stirred by a great love for the Virgin Mary.

In 1924, she founded a monastery of Discalced Carmelites in El Cerro de los Angeles next to the monument to the Sacred Heart in Madrid. There, the Carmelites prayed and offered themselves for the Church and for Spain.

During the religious persecution in Spain, Mother Maravillas demonstrated a great spirit of fortitude and her great serenity and trust in the Lord was shown forth.

Her desire to faithfully live the rule of St. Teresa led her to found another ten Carmels, recovering the traditional places of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross. She was prioress for many years, during which she taught her Sisters the virtues, above all, by her own example.

She was known for her mystical life, apostolic zeal, and for uniting goodness and firmness. She died in the Carmel of La Aldehuela on December 11, 1974, while saying, “How happy I am to die a Carmelite!”
She was beatified on May 10, 1998 and canonized on May 4, 2003.

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