One of the delights of becoming a Catholic was a discovery that the Church had never given up the practice of making saints - which I had hitherto associated with a distant medieval past. Pope St John Paul II was a giant in this respect - he realised how important it was to give official approval to heroes of the faith in the emerging churches as well as to bring attention to beautiful lives in the contemporary world. One of the latter is our saint of today, St Maria Maravillas de Jesus (1891-1974), who is little known in the English-speaking world. But like Teresa she was a foundress of several convents, and she was responsible for the establishment of one in India - to which she was not permitted to go herself, though she wanted to. Her life is interesting and inspiring on so many levels - she was actually the daughter of a Spanish government minister from an aristocratic family. She had such a beautiful name - it was her baptismal name, not as I originally thought, her name in religion - literally 'Maria of the Marvels', or 'Maria of the Wonders!' Incidentally 'Maravilla' in Spanish also means 'marigold', which I find defined as 'a beautiful yellow flower with curative properties'.
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