Thursday, February 23, 2006
Saint Mariana- The Lily of Quito
She was born in Quito, Ecuador, October 31st in 1618. Her parents were Spanish nobles but she was orphaned as a child. When she was six she went to live with her aunt. Mariana was attracted to religious things from a very early age and dedicated herself completely to God.
When Mariana was twelve she became a recluse in her aunt’s house guided by her confessor a Jesuit priest. Her uncle and aunt gave her several rooms of the house, where she created her own cloister. She never left the house for the rest of her life except to go to church.
She ate very little, slept only three hours a night and spent much time in prayer. Drawing close to God Mariana had the gifts of prophesy and miracles.
In 1645 when Quito was ravaged by an earthquake and epidemic, she offered herself publicly as a victim for the sins of the people. The quake ended and the epidemic began to subside. Mariana fell ill and died on May 26th.