Feastday: June 24
Beatified By: 25 April 2004, Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II
Canonized By: 12 May 2013, Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope Francis
Saint Mother Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala was co-founder of the Congregation of the Handmaids of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and the Poor, and was the first mother superior of the congregation. She was beautified by Pope John Paul II on April 25, 2004, and will be canonized on May 12, 2013.
Maria was born on April 27, 1878 in Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico. Her father, Fortino, ran a religious goods store situated in front of the Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan. She had a special devotion to the Lady and she made frequent prayers in the basilica.
As a young woman, she made plans to marry, however she ended these plans as she felt called to religious life.
She then pursued religious life and co-founded a new congregation on October 13, 1901, known as the Handmaids of St. Margret Mary Alacoque and the Poor. Maria spent most of her time serving as a nurse and as the Mother Superior General of the congregation.
The Congregation grew rapidly and served ever more people. However, she was also devoted to poverty, saying that only by being poor can one be with the poor. She sometimes begged for money on the street to help meet the needs of the Congregation and the patients they served.
The sisters of the Congregation also served in nearby parishes and teaching catechism.
During the Mexican Revolution, a time of great persecution for the Catholic Church which lasted from 1911 to 1936, Mother Maria hid priests and even the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Guadalajara in her hospital, saving them from their enemies.
Maria led the Congregation as it grew to 11 foundations in Mexico. Since her death on June 24, 1963, the Congregation has grown to include 22 houses in five different countries, with the most in Mexico.
Maria was declared venerable on Pope John Paul II on July 1, 2000, and beautified on April 25, 2004. She will be canonized by Pope Francis on May 12, 2013.
Imagine being able to sit at the feet of the apostles and hear their stories of life with Jesus from their own lips. Imagine walking with those who had walked with Jesus, seen him, and touched him. ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Historians remember St. Rose of Lima for her piety and chastity. Born in 1586 in Lima, Peru to Spanish colonists, and named Isabel Flores de Olivia, she was exceptionally beautiful. Her beauty was so great that she was nicknamed "Rose," a name that remains with her to ... 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
In St. Matthew's Gospel, we read of St. Simon or Simeon who is described as one of our Lord's brethren or kinsmen. His father was Cleophas, St. Joseph's brother, and his mother, according to some writers, was our Lady's sister. He would therefore be our Lord's first ... 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