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St Mariana of Quito

Patroness of Ecuador

Public Domain

Franciscan Tertiary: 1618-1645

Her life

+ Mariana Paredes y Flores was born in Quito, Ecuador (then a part of Peru). Her parents were Spanish nobles but died when Mariana was quite young; she was raised by her sister and brother-in-law.

+ As a young woman, she wished to go as a missionary to Japan and she attempted to join a religious community. In the end, she chose to live a life of solitude and prayer in her sister’s home, under the guidance of a Jesuit spiritual director.

+ Mariana lived a life of strict penance and she received many graces, including the gifts of healing and prophecy. In 1645, during a famine and epidemic brought on by a devastating earthquake, Mariana publicly offered her life for the sake of the people. She is credited with saving the city.

+ Saint Mariana of Quito died on May 26, 1645, at the age of 31. She was canonized in 1950. She is honored as the patron saint of Ecuador. She is often called the “Lily of Quito.”

Worth knowing

The life of Saint Mariana has often been compared to those of Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Rose of Lima, largely because of her penance and fasting, simple way of life, and the many mystical graces she received.


There is one thing I ask of the Lord, only this do I seek: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”—Psalm 26:4


Lord God, who gave the holy Virgin Mariana gift upon gift from heaven, grant, we pray, that, imitating her virtues on earth, we may delight with her in the joys of eternity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal: The Common of Virgins)


Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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