Novena Day 8
Blessed Maria Mercedes Prat (1880-1936)
“I must obey, because it is the will of God.”
Blessed Maria Mercedes Prat
Feast Day ~ July 24
Mercedes was born in Barcelona in 1880, and from her earliest childhood, committed herself to God. Even as a young girl, she followed Jesus’ example in showing a great love for others, her commitment to her prayer life, her familial responsibilities, and her dedication to her schoolwork. In 1904, at the age of 24, Mercedes entered the Society of St. Teresa of Jesus in Tortosa, Spain and in 1920 was assigned to the community’s mother-house in Barcelona.
The sisters with whom Mercedes lived viewed her as a “true Teresian – a religious according to the heart of God.” She was prudent, truthful, gentle and kind in dealing with others, while remaining firm in character. She lived entirely in submission to God’s will. God was her one love, and her love for God increased to the point where she would gladly have given her life for Him. In time, her desire would be fulfilled.
For the next 16 years, Mercedes joyfully taught the local children at her community’s school, but the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War brought with it destruction and suffering. In mid-July 1936, Mercedes and her sisters were forced to give up their school and flee. However, on July 23rd, Mercedes, together with another sister were arrested. The two sisters endured hours of questioning, intimidation and threats, yet they refused to recant their statement that they were religious sisters, fully aware that for this, they would suffer the penalty of death. At dawn on the morning of the 24th, Mercedes and her companion were stood before the firing squad and executed. The last words on her lips were those of the “Our Father”.