Servants of Mary, Ministers to the Sick
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Sister Elizabeth Miles (213) 840-9608
Kansas City, Kansas (Provincial House)
Bronx, New York
New Orleans, Louisiana
Los Angeles, California
Newbury Park, California
Patron Saints/Famous Saints of the Community
Saint Maria Soledad: Mother Foundress (1826-1887). Spain. Feast: October 11
Blessed Mary Catherine (1848-1918). Spain. Feast: October 10
Blessed Martyr Sisters: Mother Aurelia, Sister Aurora, Sister Daria, Sister Agustina (martyred in the Spanish Civil War 1936). Spain. Feast: December 5
Venerable Soledad Sanjurjo (1892-1973). Puerto Rico
"I was sick and you visited Me" (Mt 25, 36)
The charism of the Servants of Mary is a gift granted by the Holy Spirit to Saint María Soledad for the purpose of bringing the healing presence and loving compassion of Christ to the bedside of the sick and dying, preferably in their own homes, day or night, and free of charge.
Reaching out to those who suffer and to their families while not depriving them of the comfort of their familiar home environment and without concern of payment for services is what makes this mission special. The spirit of Mother Soledad in this ministry of gratuitous care of the sick is a witness to the unconditional love and mercy of Christ.
• Contemplative in action
• Abandoned to Providence
• Collaborator with Christ and Mary in the salvation of mankind
The Servants of Mary, Ministers to the Sick were founded on August 15, 1851, in Madrid, Spain, at the initiative of Father Miguel Martínez who was inspired to found an institute of religious Sisters who, moved by charity, would be specifically dedicated to care for the sick in their own homes. A young woman, Manuela Torres Acosta, who would later be known as Mother Soledad, hearing about his plan, introduced herself to Father Miguel who, although indecisive at first, accepted her as the seventh member of the founding group of women. From the beginning, there were many difficulties, oppositions and restrictions by the government, and Father Miguel, seeing that his efforts to give the Institute stability were in vain, decided to go to the missions in 1856. Mother Soledad then became the Superior General and the only founding Sister to persevere in this new endeavor. She spent herself working zealously for the growth of the Congregation and embodied the charism for her Sisters to carry on the spirituality and mission so necessary in every time. After her death in 1887, her cause for canonization was opened, and she was canonized in 1970.
Historically, the Servants of Mary have provided nursing care to people suffering from the effects of wars, natural disasters and epidemics. In Spain they were renowned for the service they provided during cholera epidemics and for tending to the wounded during the Spanish Revolution. During the Mexican Revolution, they assisted the Red Cross in caring for those with tuberculosis and other contagious diseases.
St. Maria Soledad’s vision and great love for the sick is continued today by over 1,000 Sisters in 23 countries, comprising a world-wide ministry of care and compassion in 116 convents.
“Pray, my Daughter, by placing your intention beneath our Blessed Mother’s mantle. Have courage and pray unceasingly.” St. Maria Soledad
Since our own sanctification and the efficacy of our apostolate depend on our union with God and our intimacy of life with Him, we must cultivate with lively and persevering interest the spirit of prayer and the practice of it, ever drawing on the genuine sources of Christian spirituality, principally on those of Sacred Scripture and the liturgy.
Our daily community prayer includes:
-Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
-Daily recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours in community – Morning Prayer, Evening
prayer and Night Prayer.
-1 ½ hour personal meditation throughout the day
-Prayer of Praise to the Blessed Trinity, Te Deum, Angelus
*Special devotion to Our Lady, Health of the Sick as principal patroness of the
Congregation, celebrating her feasts on May 8, and August 15, both preceded by a
solemn novena. We invoke her special protection when going out and returning to
the convent and commend our patients and their families to her maternal care.
*May crowning and procession of Our Lady of the Assumption on August 15
*Devotion to St. Joseph and St. John the Baptist as patrons of the Congregation, celebrating their feasts preceded by a triduum.
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