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BIOGRAPHY: Laura-biography ENG Chavez.doc

EUCHARIST: Laura-Eucharist ENG.doc

Laura Vicuna - possible patron of refugees and migrants!


Argentine Deputies are promoting a declaration project urging Pope Francis to canonize Blessed Laura Vicuña, proposing her as the patron of refugees and women who are subjected to violence.  One of the promoters of the initiative is Deputy Giovanni Brügge, who declared himself to be a relative of the Argentine/Chilean girl on the mother’s side.

The Deputies consider that “Laura Vicuña was a Chilean girl whose widowed mother had to emigrate to Argentina as a political refugee because of political persecution. She was formed by the Salesians”.  She and her mother suffered violence within the family in our Country and she gave her life so that her mother would be converted and leave the man who was violent with her.  Vicuña is considered the patron of the family and could also be that of the refugees and of women who suffer violence”.

The whole Institute with the educating communities and the young people who are entrusted to us, praise the Blessed Trinity for the holiness of this teenager, great in faith, strong in hope, and heroic in love.  In the young Laura, loving Jesus became the most authentic and real commitment.  Jesus filled her life with meaning and beauty, even in carrying the cross.  Love of God is the foundation of every human love.  Where there is love, there is also the capacity of giving self to God and living sacrificially.  The holiness of Laura is a confirmation of the validity of the Salesian educational system when this is lived by the educators who seek the same holiness walking with the young in fidelity to the Gospel.

John Paul II, in his Homily on September 3, 1988, said: “The sweet figure of blessed Laura, most pure glory of Argentina and of Chile…teaches everyone that with the help of grace, we can triumph over evil, and that the ideals of innocence and love, though denigrated and offended, can in the end shine forth and illumine hearts”.
“Laura makes us reflect on the importance of the family in the education of their children, on the right they have to live in a normal family that is the place of reciprocal love and of human and Christian formation.  This is a reminder for modern society itself to be ever more considerate for the institution of the family and for the education of the young”.

With Laura, we contemplate the Holy Family of Nazareth, icon of all families because it reflects the image of God guarded in the heart of every human family, even when it is weakened and sometimes disfigured by the trials of life.  The evangelist Matthew narrates that, a little after the birth of Jesus, Joseph was forced to leave for Egypt, taking the child and His Mother with him in order to flee the persecution of King Herod (Cf. Mt. 2: 13-15).  In the drama of the Family of Nazareth we perceive the painful condition of many migrants, especially of the refugees, the exiled, the dispersed, the persecuted.  We recognize in particular, the difficulty of the migrant family as such: the discomforts, the humiliations, the austerities, the fragilities.

On the occasion of the Angelus on August 15, 2016, the Pope said while commenting on the Magnificat: “This song of Mary leads us to think of many actual painful situations, in particular, that of women overwhelmed by the burden of life and the drama of violence, from women enslaved by the arrogance of the powerful, to children forced into inhuman work, to women obligated to surrender their bodies and spirits to the greed of men”.

To Laura Vicuña we entrust still more today all the families of the world and the women who undergo violence. 

Blessed Laura Vicuña was born on April 5, 1891 in Santiago, Chile and died on January 22, 1904 at JunÍn de los Andes, Argentina, before she had reached 13 years of age.  The Chilean/Argentine girl was beatified in Rome by Pope St. John Paul II on September 3, 1988.  Her liturgical memorial is celebrated on January 22.

Laura_originale 2014.jpg

FOTO detail

From Chile to Argentina

Laura Carmen Vicuña was born in Santiago, in Chile, on the 5th April 1891 to Joseph Domenico and Mercedes Pino. The Vicuña family were Chilean aristocrats, forced into exile by the revolution. They took refuge in Temuco in a poor house, but soon after Joseph Domenico died suddenly, and Mercedes had to take refuge with her two daughters in Argentina. They came to Junín de los Andes. Mercedes came to know the rather pushy Manuel Mora and accepted working for him, but also living with him.

Boarding with the Sisters

In 1900 Laura went to board with her sister Julia Amanda with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians at their school. She was a model pupil: prayerful, listened to the Sisters, available to her companions, always happy and ready to make sacrifices.

On the model of Dominic Savio

The following year she made her first communion with the same fervour and ideals as Saint Dominic Savio, whom she had taken as a model. she entered the Children of Mary. While one of the Sisters was explaining the sacrament of marriage during catechetics, Laura began to understand her mother’s sinful state, and fainted. She also understood because during the holidays on the farm her mother made her pray in secret, and never went to the sacraments. From then on Laura increased her prayers and sacrifices for her mother’s conversion. During the holidays in 1902 Manuel Mora threatened Laura’s virtue; she firmly refused him, sending him into a rage.

Request denied - prayer for mother

She went back to school as a student assistant, because he would no longer pay her fees. With all her heart she asked if she could become a Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, but she was denied this because of her mother’s living in sin. She offered her life to the Lord for her mother’s conversion, became more self-sacrificing, and with the consent of her confessor, Fr Crestanello, made private vows. Her health suffered from sacrifices and from other sickness, and she was beaten by Mora for refusing him yet again. On her final night she confided: “Mamma, I am dying! For a long time I have asked Jesus, offering my life for you, so you will return to God... Mamma, before I die will I have the chance to see you repent?”

A prayer answered

Mercedes answered, “ I promise I will do what you ask”. with this joy Laura died the evening of the 22nd January 1904. Her body lies in the chapel belonging to the Salesian Sisters in Bahía Blanca. At the centenary of Don Bosco’s death, this chosen daughter, who had given her life for the virtue dearest to the Master, was proclaimed Blessed

Declared Venerable: 5-6.1986
Beatified by John Paul II il 3 - 9 - 1988

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