On the day of her First Holy Communion at the age of ten, Tomasa Ortiz Real, of Bocairente, Spain, began to long for religious life. After completing her schooling, Tomasa, in deference to her father’s wishes, delayed her plans to enter a convent, and at home devoted herself to prayer and assisting the needy. While praying, she experienced a mystical revelation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that inspired her to found a new religious congregation. Her initial efforts to form a community with other young women were thwarted by dissension among her companions, so that all but one deserted her. Tomasa’s bishop thereupon invited her to make a month-long retreat at a Salesian convent. This inspired Tomasa to found the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, dedicated to orphans, the ill, and the elderly. Having taken the name Piety of the Cross, she imparted to her congregation the purpose of making known to those under the sisters’ care “the Father’s providential love as it is manifested in the merciful Heart of Jesus on the cross.” Mother Piety died on February 26, 1916.
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The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
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By Deacon Keith Fournier
This great defender of the faith insisted on the central claim of Christianity: God can be known and loved-indeed, that is why He came into our midst in the person of His Son; so that through a relationship with Jesus Christ, man could participate in the ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes