+ María was born in Alzira, Spain, Single throughout her life, she was a dedicated lay person in the archdiocese of Valencia.
+ Serving as a tutor and an active member of Catholic Action, she was devoted to teaching young people of the working classes and to caring for the sick.
+ María was among those faith-filled Catholics—bishops, priests, religious, and laity—who were murdered during the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War.
+ Blessed María Purificación was executed along a highway near Corbera, Spain, on September 22, 1936. She was beatified with other martyrs in 2001.
For prayer and reflection
“Dear brothers and sisters, on various occasions I have recalled the need to preserve the memory of the martyrs. Their witness must not be forgotten. They are the most eloquent proof of the truth of the faith, which can give a human face even to the most violent death and show its beauty even in the midst of atrocious sufferings. The particular Churches must do everything possible not to forget those who suffered martyrdom.”—Pope Saint John Paul II at the beatification of Blessed María Purificación and other Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War
On this day, the Mercedarian Order honors the memory of Blessed Alfonso da Cusco. A lay brother in the priority of San Giovanni Latearano in Arequipa, Peru, he was known for his personal piety and as a worker of miracles.
O God, who gladden us today with the annual commemoration of blessed María Purificación, graciously grant that we may be helped by her merits, just as our lives are lit up by the splendor of her example of chastity and fortitude. 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: Common of Holy Men and Women—For a Virgin Martyr)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.