St. Mariana de Paredes - Our Patroness

Attracted to religious things from a very early age, Mariana de Paredes dedicated herself completely to God. She was born in Quito, Ecuador, on October 31, 1618. Her parents were of Spanish nobility, but she was orphaned as a child, leaving her to be raised with loving care by her sister. At the age of ten, she took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. At the age of twelve, she became a hermit in her sister’s house guided by her confessor, a Jesuit priest. Mariana 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 prophecy and miracles. In 1645 when Quito was ravaged by an earthquake and epidemic, Mariana offered herself publicly as a victim for the sins of the people. The quake ended, and as the epidemic began to subside, Mariana fell ill and died on May 26, 1645. Immediately after her death there bloomed a pure white lily from her blood, hence she is known as the “Lily of Quito” and is honored as the national heroine of Ecuador. Mariana was beatified by Pope Pius IX in 1853, and was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1950. Her feast day is celebrated on May 26.

~Information taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia

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