Blessed Maria Rafols
- 30 August
- Born to a working class family.
After completing her education at a boarding school in Barcelona, Spain, she joined a group of twelve young women under the direction of Father Juan Bonal, who administered Our Lady of Grace Hospital in Zaragoza.
The small community was dedicated to serving the most helpless: the sick, the mentally ill, abandoned children, and the disabled.
At age of 23 Maria was appointed superior of the group, a position that often put her in conflict with hospital employees.
During the Napoleonic wars, she worked in the bombed ruins to save the sick and children.
She even ventured into the enemy camp to plead with the French general for help with the sick and wounded.
She worked tirelessly for the approval of her small community, and in 1825 they took their first public vows.
Victim of slander, she was imprisoned during the Carlist War, but later released.
- 5 November 1781 at Vilafranca del Penedes, Spain
- 30 August 1853
- 16 October 1994 by Pope John Paul II
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