She was born into a poor family in Saragoza, Spain, on 27 July 1906. From her youngest years Marķa shone with radiant love for God and for the poor; she was always trying to find ways to help the poor. After spending four years in Alfamen for health reasons, she returned to Zaragoza and began work in a shoe factory to help her family financially. There her simplicity, natural sympathy, kindness and diligence made her popular with one and all. However, the Lord wanted to lead her ever more deeply into the mystery of the Cross. Marķa Pilar so loved suffering that she was in the habit of saying "In suffering I find so great a love for our Jesus that I die".
Returning from work one day in 1926, she fractured her pelvis falling from the tram; in 1927, an outbreak of cysts paralysed her and made her blind. Thus began for her a sorrowful way, between the hospitals of Zaragoza and her poor attic home. During the Spanish Civil War it was here that she prayed, cultivated evangelical friendships and helped many to discern God's call.
In 1936 Marķa Pilar began to talk of a Work of Jesus whose purpose would be "to reproduce the active life of the Lord on earth through works of mercy". On 8 December 1939, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, to whom she was deeply devoted, Marķa Pilar was miraculously healed from the paralysis that had confined her to her bed for more than 10 years. The cysts disappeared and she instantly recovered her vision. In 1939, she went about setting up her missionary work, and with a group of young people, moved to Madrid where she could begin her work as an apostolate for the poor. The Bishop of Madrid gave her first foundation, "Missionaries of Jesus and Mary", a first official approval. However she ran into great difficulties and as a result, the bishop withdrew his approval and asked that the work be dissolved. She was forbidden to exercise any form of apostolate until 1942. In that year the Bishop of Madrid canonically approved a second form of her missionary work, known as the Pious Union of Missionaries of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
After two years of a fruitful apostolate on the outskirts of Madrid, she fell ill again. At the same time, calumnies and plotting forced her to withdraw from her congregation in 1944, and she was followed by nine of her daughters. She died at San Sebastiano when she was only 39, on 27 August 1945. After her death the religious were able to realize her plan. In 1948, her religious obtained the approval of the bishop for a third and final form of congregation called the Missionary Work of Jesus and Mary.
Biography Provided By: The Vatican
This holy priest was born in 1698 at the village of Voltaggio in the diocese of Genoa and was one of the four children of an excellent and highly respected couple. When he ws ten a nobleman and his ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Emma was a relative of Emperor St. Henry II and also known as Hemma. She was raised at Henry's court by St. Cunegund, and according to legend was married to Landgrave William of Friesach. Their two children were murdered during an uprising of mines owned by William. ... 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
When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. Germanus had founded at Auxerre, there came to him a young man called Marcian (also known as Marian), a fugitive from Bourges then occupied by ... continue reading
By Justin Soutar
During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes