22 January 2009

A Poem of Purity: Blessed Laura Vicuña

Today is the feast of Blessed Laura Vicuña, a 12-year-old girl born in Chile on 5 April 1891 who died on this day in Argentina in 1904. I came across this article, by Fr John Murray, a parish priest in Belfast, in the Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart and got permission to use it in Misyon. We printed it in January-February last year, our second-last printed issue.

Blessed Laura’s feast isn’t on the universal calendar of the Church but she is especially venerated by Salesians. The day before, 21 January, is the feast of another girl around the same age, St Agnes. I regularly celebrate Mass in Holy Family Home here in Bacolod, featured in the current issue of Misyon as A Safe Haven and last July-August as ‘A Child Redeemed is a Generation Saved’ . Some of the girls there can relate to the experience of Blessed Laura and so last year we had a combined celebration of both of these saintly young girls. We celebrated Mass in their honour again last evening.

The reality of two young women offering their lives for others out of their faith in Jesus, St Agnes as a martyr and Blessed Laura offering her life for the conversion of her mother, can speak to the heart of anyone open to the Gospel and is Good News for young persons who have suffered deeply. Our suffering doesn’t have to be useless or meaningless. The words of St Paul in Col 1:24 once hit my heart like an arrow straight from Jesus himself: Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. The lives and deaths of Agnes and Laura show the truth of this.

http://www.lauravicuna.com/ is the website of the Laura Vicuna Foundation, Inc, Manila.

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