Author and Publisher - Catholic Online
Genoveva Torres Morales, Foundress of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Angels (The Angélicas)
Genoveva Torres Morales was born on 3 January 1870 in Almenara, Castille, Spain, the youngest of six children. By the age of eight, both her parents and four of her siblings had died, leaving Genoveva to care for the home and her brother, José. Although he treated her with respect, José was very demanding and taciturn. Being deprived of affection and companionship from her early years, Genoveva became accustomed to solitude.
When she was 10, she took a special interest in reading spiritual books. Through this pursuit she came to understand that true happiness is doing God's will, and it was for this reason that each one of us is created. This became her rule of life.
At the age of 13, Genoveva's left leg had to be amputated in order to stop the gangrene that was spreading there. The amputation was done in her home, and since the anaesthesia was not sufficient, the pain was excruciating. Throughout her life her leg caused her pain and sickness, and she was forced to use crutches.
From 1885 to 1894 she lived at the Mercy Home run by the Carmelites of Charity. In the nine years she lived with the sisters and with other children, the young Genoveva deepened her life of piety and perfected her sewing skills. It was also in these years that Fr Carlos Ferrís, a diocesan priest and future Jesuit and founder of a leprosarium in Fontilles, would guide the "beginnings" of her spiritual and apostolic life.
God also gave Genoveva the gift of "spiritual liberty", and this was something she would endeavour to practise throughout her life. Reflecting on this period at the Mercy Home, she later would write: "I loved freedom of heart very much, and worked and am working to achieve it fully.... It does the soul so much good that every effort is nothing compared with this free condition of the heart".
Genoveva intended to join the Carmelites of Charity, but it seems she was not accepted due to her physical condition. She longed to be consecrated to God and, being of a decided and resolute nature, she continued to be open to his guidance.
In 1894 Genoveva left the Carmelites of Charity's home and went to live briefly with two women who supported themselves by their own work. Together they "shared" the solitude and poverty.
In 1911, Canon Barbarrós suggested that Genoveva begin a new religious community, pointing out that there were many poor women who could not afford to live on their own and thus suffered much hardship. For years, Genoveva had thought of starting a religious congregation that would be solely concerned with meeting the needs of such women, since she knew of no one engaged in this work.
With the help of Canon Barbarrós and Fr Martín Sánchez, S.J., the first community was established in Valencia. Shortly thereafter, other women arrived, wanting to share the same apostolic and spiritual life. It was not long before more communities were established in other parts of Spain, despite many problems and obstacles.
A constant source of suffering for Mother Genoveva was her involvement in external activity and the new foundations. She desired to return to her characteristic interior solitude and remain alone with the Lord, but she accepted her calling as God's will and did not let her physical or interior suffering stop her.
She would say: "Even if I must suffer greatly, thanks be to God's mercy, I will not lack courage".
She was known for her kindness and openness to all, and for her good sense of humour - she would even joke about her physical ailments.
In 1953, the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Angels received Pontifical approval. Mother Genoveva died on 5 January 1956. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 29 January 1995.
Biography Provided by: The Vatican
Eusebius, born just a few years after Fabian's death, tells us how Fabian came to Rome after Pope Anteros died in 236. A layperson, and not a very important one, he may have come for the same reason ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Josephine Bakhita was born in Sudan in 1869. This African flower, who knew the anguish of kidnapping and slavery, bloomed marvelously in Italy, in response to God's grace, with the Daughters of Charity, where everyone still calls her "Mother Moretta" (our Black ... continue readingMore Female Saints
Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading
St. Gabriel is an angel who serves as a messenger for God to certain people. He is one of the three archangels. Gabriel is mentioned in both the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible. First, in the Old Testament, Gabriel appears to the prophet Daniel to explain his ... continue reading
St. Pachomius was born about 292 in the Upeer Thebaid in Egypt and was inducted into the Emperor's army as a twenty-year-old. The great kindness of Christians at Thebes toward the soldiers became embedded in his mind and led to his conversion after his discharge. After ... continue reading
St. James the Less, the author of the first Catholic Epistle, was the son of Alphaeus of Cleophas. His mother Mary was either a sister or a close relative of the Blessed Virgin, and for that reason, according to Jewish custom, he was sometimes called the brother of the ... continue reading
By Marshall Connolly, (California Network)
If you are an American, today is Thanksgiving. Hopefully today you have made a point to attend Mass and to give thanks to God for all His blessings. If you are not American, today's holiday is a reminder that God deserves thanks from all His creation. We pray you will ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes