Beatified By: Pope John Paul II
Maria Antonia Bandres was born in Tolosa (Guipuzcoa), Spain, on 6 March 1898, the second of 15 children of the attorney Ramon Bandres and Teresa Elosegui. From her earliest years she went to the school of the Daughters of Jesus (Hijas de Jesus) in Tolosa, founded by Mother Candida Maria de Jesus. To her younger brothers and sisters she was an exemplary model of virtue. She belonged to a well-to-do family, but she reached out to the poor and needy in the suburbs of Tolosa. With women workers she carried out an apostolate of evangelization and social assistance, something rarely done in those times.
She entered the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus on 8 December 1915 in Salamanca, and on 31 May 1918 she made her religious vows. Never of robust health, she began to weaken and soon was taken very ill. During her sickness she was treated by Dr Filiberto Villalobos, who later testified that he was "deeply moved by her faith and serenity of spirit, which made her very happy in the last moments of her life". This doctor, a friend of Miguel de Unamuno and Indalecio Prieto, commenting to them about the attitude of Maria Antonia, exclaimed: "How mistaken we are about life! This, yes, this is what dying means...".
Maria Antonia's death profoundly touched the heart of these intellectual agnostics and stirred in them disquieting questions. Seeing the 21-year-old Maria Antonia Bandres die with the security of "knowing where she was going", according to Unamuno's expression, made a tremendous impact, and all of them have left oral or written testimonies about it.
God accepted the offering that this young Daughter of Jesus made of her life for the conversion and eternal salvation of her uncle and godfather, Antonio Bandres, who was I living contrary to Christian faith and morals. She died in Salamanca on 27 April 1919, the feast of Our Lady of Montserrat, while singing and calling upon Mary as "Mother of mercy".
Maria Antonia Bandres, a woman endowed with deep humanity, was sensitive to the love of her family and friends in the world and in religious life. Always open to the grace and love of God, she was able to suffer with a smile. Then God permeated the deepest core of her littleness and ushered her into the mystery of the Father's love.
The life of this young religious is a marvellous witness to divine grace, which seeks out the simple-hearted. In her shines forth the beauty of a life totally consecrated to God.
Biography Provided By: EWTN
St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Feast-July 30) Born at Imola, Italy in 406, St. Peter was baptized, educated, and ordained a deacon by Cornelius, Bishop of Imola. St. Peter ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
The remarkable woman who would be known as Mother Theresa began life named Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. Born on August 26, 1910 in Skopje, she was the youngest child born to Nikola and Drane Bojaxhiu, Receiving her First Communion at the age of five, she was confirmed in ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
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
Before the 1969 reform of the Roman calendar, Christopher was listed as a martyr who died under Decius. Nothing else is known about him. There are several legends about him including the one in which ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith A Fournier
On July 15th in the Liturgical Calendar of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, we commemorate the life, holiness, work and death of a great Bishop and Doctor named Bonaventure. He was born in 1218, became a Franciscan Friar in 1243, and died in 1274. A friend ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes