Maria Rafols was born on 5 November 1781 in Vilafranca del Penedes Spain, to a simple hard-working family. Because of her talent, she was sent to a boarding school in Barcelona, where she completed her formation while maintaining a life of solitude, prayer and piety.
She then joined a group of 12 young women under the direction of Fr Juan Bonal, who administered Our Lady of Grace Hospital in Zaragoza. The small community formed an apostolic association dedicated to serving the most helpless: the sick, the mentally ill, abandoned children and all types of disabled people.
At the age of 23 she was appointed superior of the group, a task requiring heroic effort, since she often had to confront a hostile atmosphere created by some of the hospital employees. During the Napoleonic wars she laboured in the bombed ruins, endangering her life to save the sick and the children. She even ventured into the enemy camp to plead with the French general for help with the sick and wounded.
She struggled tirelessly for the approval of her small community. Finally in 1825 they took their first public vows. The victim of calumny, she was imprisoned during the Carlist War, but later released; she spent her remaining years at her Foundling Home. She died on 30 August 1853 at the age of 72.
Biography Provided By: EWTN
What do dreams have to with prayer? Aren't they just random images of our mind? In 1867 Pope Pius IX was upset with John Bosco because he wouldn't take his dreams seriously enough. Nine years ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
In the fourth century appeared a Greek religious romance on the Loves of Cecilia and Valerian, written, like those of Chrysanthus and Daria, Julian and Basilissa, in glorification of the virginal life, and with the purpose of taking the place of the sensual romances of ... 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
St. Augustine of Hippo is the patron of brewers because of his conversion from a former life of loose living, which included parties, entertainment, and worldly ambitions. His complete turnaround and ... continue reading
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