Friday, December 16, 2011


Recently I found this quote (source unknown) which certainly rings true of the many saints I have found in the past months in my study of "Saints and Birds"!

"the saints have not fallen from Heaven.
they are people like us, who also have complicated problems.
holiness does not consist in never having erred or sinned.
holiness increases the capacity for conversion,
for repentance, for willingness to start again
and, especially,  for reconciliation and forgiveness".

What has been particularly note worthy is the number of holy people Blessed Pope John Paul II called to the front during his pontificate. Almost every country is now represented and there are more non-religious (and non Italians) then ever. Africa, Asia and N & S America are represented as never before. Over the weeks I hope to introduce some of the lesser known but interesting personages. Their life story gives us hope that our own road to the Father may also be paved with special graces.

Before I went to Costa Rica in November I encountered their only saint- at least one recognized as such- and asked her to guide me in my trip. People there were amazed that I knew of her (and a few did not know of her). She is BLESSED MARIA ROMERO MENESES. She died in 1977and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2002. She was born in Granada, Nicaragua, in 1902 to a wealthy family; her father was a government minister. At the age of 12, she was extremely sick and paralyzed for six months with rheumatic fever. She was cured by the intercession and apparition of Our Lady Help of Christians, during which she understood her vocation to be a Salesian sister. She  made her final profession in 1929.

Two years later, she was transferred to San Jose, Costa Rica where she taught music, drawing and typing to rich girls. She also trained catechists and trades to the poor. She inspired many of her students to join her in her work with the poor and was known for helping people come to know God in a personal way. More and more, her ministry became focused on social development, helping the rich to see how they could help the poor. She set up recreational centers, food distribution centers, a school for poor girls, and a clinic staffed by volunteer doctors.

In 1973, she organized the construction of seven homes, which became the foundation of the village Centro San Jose, a community where poor families could have decent homes. When her health began to fail she returned to Nicaragua for rest but died there in 1977.

Because she had spent her life working in Costa Rica she was returned there for burial. Blessed María always joined love and devotion to the Eucharist and Mary with her social apostolate. Her body rests in the Salesian chapel at San José, Costa Rica.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this saint with us, I had not heard of before. The saints are such an example and it is always lovely to hear their stories.