Thursday, March 09, 2006
Blessed Laura Vicuna
Laura Vicuna was the daughter of Jose Domingo Vicuna and Mercedes Pino. She was born April 5, 1891, in Santiago, Chile 3 months after the outbreak of the civil war in Chile. Her father was a soldier who belonged to a noble Chilean family. He died when Laura was two.
Mercedes was forced to flee to Argentina with Laura and her sister where she hoped she could find work to support her family. There, she met Manuel Mora a prosperous landowner. He offered to take care of the family and send Laura to convent school if Mercedes would stay with him.
Laura loved her school and did very well. She received her First Holy Communion at ten years old and and, like Dominic Savio, she made resolutions to love God with all her strength, to do penance and die rather than sin, to make Jesus more widely known and to make reparation for sins against him. She asked the Bishop if she could join the order and become a Salesian nun. The bishop refused saying she was too young.
On December 8, 1901, she was allowed to take private vows in the Sodality of the Children of Mary. She asked her confessor if she could offer her life for the conversion of her mother. Her confessor granted her request. In 1903, Laura became very ill. She left the convent to be with her mother. Her mother moved away from the Mora house into a small house near the school.
In January 1904, Senor Mora stormed the small house and demanded they come back to the house. Laura refused and left the house. Senor Mora followed her, beat her and left her unconscious.
She regained consciousness but survived only a week. Before she died, Laura told her mother, "Mama, I'm happy to offer my life for you. I asked our Lord for this." Her mother left Manuel Mora and returned to the church. Laura was beatified in 1988 by Pope John Paul II. We remember her on January 22nd.
Blessed Laura Vicuna, little flower of purity, model of youth, lovely child of Our Lady, you who followed Christ to the point of herosism, hear our confident prayer. Obtain for us the graces we need. Help us to love and serve God with joy. Accompany us on our journey to holiness. Blessed Laura Vicuna, pray for us! Amen.