NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local parish, who professes faith and loyalty to the Church. This ministry - my "little work" - is strictly a personal expression of that faith and loyalty, and not an officially recognized ministry in the Diocese of Honolulu. ~ Peter

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Saint of the Month - August 2015: Blessed Maria of the Angels Ginard Marti

Bl. Maria of the Angels Ginard Marti
A Martyr of Reparation ~ Memorial: August 30th

This courageous witness for the Faith was born Angela Ginard Martí on April 3rd, 1894, in Llucmajor (Mallorca) Spain.  She came from a very large family of modest means, but highly devout in background (two aunts were nuns), which undoubtedly played a big part in influencing her spiritual growth.  At 11-years-old, Angela made her First Holy Communion and it was at that point in her life that she resolved to give herself completely to Jesus by becoming a nun.

The Blessed in her youth
Before realizing her goal, Angela lived with her family and assisted them through her meager income earned from embroidering and hat making.  She had eight siblings that she helped care for and she also served as their teacher and catechist, diligently ensuring they learned their prayers and the basics of the Faith.  Despite her already busy schedule at home, Angela maintained a strict personal program of prayer and spiritual discipline which she sustained by participating in daily Mass.  She conscientiously followed this program until the age of 27 when she finally obtained her parents' consent to enter into religious life. 

In November 1921, Angela joined the Congregation of the Zealous Sisters of Eucharistic Adoration and took the religious name, “Sr. Maria of the Angels”.  The charism of the congregation centered on devotion to the Eucharist and she quickly settled into her vocation with enthusiasm and joy.  She was described by others as being a model religious - simple, deeply pious, obedient, and highly capable - and speedily rose to the office of Superior in the congregation’s convent in Madrid.  It was there that Sr. Maria of the Angels was called upon by the Lord to make her supreme sacrifice. 

The Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, which saw the destruction of churches and convents, and the persecution of religious and lay-faithful by Communist revolutionaries.  Deeply troubled and sensing the dire implications of these sacrileges events, Sr. Maria of the Angels prayed fervently before the Blessed Sacrament and was inspired to offer her life as a Martyr in reparation for the many offences against God that were rampant during the war.  As danger drew closer to their doorstep, the anxious Superior and her nuns were forced to flee from their convent on July 20, 1936. They dressed as civilians and disbursed to hide among sympathetic families in the city.  Before taking leave of each other, our Blessed encouraged her spiritual sisters with brave but somber words: "All they can do to us is kill us, nothing more." 

A 1st Class Relic of this Virgin-
Martyr in my ministry's custody.
Taking shelter in a nearby home, Sr. Mary of the Angels witnessed the destruction and looting of her beloved convent and continued with her fervent prayer of reparation.  Not long after she was betrayed by a servant and, on the night of August 25th, Communist militants came knocking at the door of the house.  A female family member came to the door and the police seized her, mistaking her for the nun, but with serenity and courage, Sr. Maria of the Angels came to the door and identified herself as the religious who they were seeking to arrest.  She was quickly taken away, and on the following day, martyred by a firing squad.

To the joy of her congregation and the Faithful in Spain, the heroic martyrdom of Sr. Maria of the Angels was recognized by the Church and she was Beatified on October 29th, 2005.  Let us pray for her speedy Canonization.

A Reflection
As firmly witnessed by Bl. Maria of the Angels, the enemies of our Faith may be able to destroy our bodies, but never our faith and our souls.

A Short Prayer
Lord, following the example of your faithful servant, Bl. Maria of the Angels, help us to do our best in placing the welfare of souls above the frivolous wants of our bodies.  Amen.

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