On October 24, 2023, Pope Francis approved a new miracle through the intercession of “Mama Antula,” Bl. Maria Antonia of St. Joseph. She was from Argentina and was responsible for conducting Ignatian retreats after the Jesuits were expelled from the country in the 18th century.
VaticanNews explains how, “After the expulsion of the Jesuits from the country, she went from town to town in the poor regions of north-eastern Argentina promoting retreats in the Ignatian tradition. In only eight years, she managed to offer provide retreats to 70,000 people.“
Pope Francis sent a message to the Argentinian people in 2016 after her beatification, saying that Mama Antula was “a woman who helped strengthen the heart of Argentina.”
The Catholic Standard relates that she “had consecrated herself to God at the age of 15, choosing to dress in a black robe and taking the name Maria Antonia of St. Joseph. She later formed a religious community of women, the Daughters of the Divine Savior, who prayed together, did works of charity and assisted the local Jesuits.”
To be canonized a saint in the Catholic Church, two miracles through an individual’s intercession must be verified and approved by the Vatican.
Bl. Maria Antonia already had one miracle approved, which led to her beatification in 2016. This second miracle will lead to her canonization, where she will be officially called, a saint.