Mother Maria Maravillas of Jesus was canonized by Saint Pope John Paul II in 2003 after establishing the Association of Saint Teresa in 1972 to help recover the Carmelite observance as practiced by Saint Teresa of Avila in her Constitutions.
Born in Madrid, Spain, on November 1, 1891 to Luis and Christina Pidal, devout Catholics. Her father was the Spanish Ambassador to the Vatican. Maria was a deeply religious child who made a vow of chastity at the age of five. She wanted to enter the Carmel of Madrid after reading the works of St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, but her entrance was delayed until the age of twenty-seven after her father's death. Before making her solemn vows in 1924, Sr. Maria had already founded a Carmelite monastery six miles south of Madrid, in Getafe. This was the first of many Teresian Carmelite Monasteries founded by Mother Maravillas, who served as prioress throughout her life.
In 1972, she received permission from the Holy See to establish the Association of Saint Teresa as members of the Order of Discalced Carmelites. Although beginning in Spain, there are now at least ten monasteries of the Association in Canada and the United States. The monasteries belonging to the Association keep the observance as established by Saint Teresa of Avila in 1562.
After a life of service, Mother Maravillas died peacefully in one of the Carmels she had founded in Aldehuela, Spain, at the age of 84, on December 11, 1974.
Mother Maravillas of Jesus was canonized by Saint Pope John Paul II in 2003.
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