It’s been a while since I’ve written a post on modern sanctity, so today I’d like to talk about one of the new saints in the Catholic Church: St. Mariam Baouardy, also known as Mary of Jesus Crucified! I first heard about this amazing woman a few summers ago, when I was blessed to hold a relic of her during a relic exhibition. Here are some cool highlights from her life:
Mariam was born on January 5th in 1846 at Ibillin, a village close to Nazareth. In a largely Muslim area, Mariam and her parents were Greek Catholics. Both of Mariam’s parents died when she was only a few years old.
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Mariam went to live with relatives, and took them aback with her devotion to God and Our Lady. She had amazing fervor and a deep desire for holiness. When Mariam’s relatives moved with her to Alexandria, her uncle announced that he had arranged a marriage for the nearly thirteen-year-old girl. Mariam, however, had decided that she would only marry Jesus, so her uncle sent her to become a servant.
After a few months as a servant, Mariam wanted to contact her younger brother, who was still living in Galilee. She tried to send him a message through a Muslim servant who was headed that way. However, this servant tried to make Mariam deny her faith, and when she refused to, he slashed her throat and left her on the road.
Later on in her life, Mariam revealed that when she was left for dead, a “nun in blue” took her in, met her needs, and spoke of Mariam’s future travels and stays in convents (Mariam, later on, believed this “nun” to be Our Lady).
Mariam continued to work as a servant girl in different places, and when she was 18, she took work with a Syrian family from Marseilles. There, Mariam entered a convent, but at the end of her postulancy, was asked to leave.
The novice mistress of this convent, who was being transferred to a Carmel in Pau, asked Mariam to go with her. In 1867, they both entered this Carmelite convent. Mariam was blessed with many mystical experiences and gifts (these had begun earlier in her life), and in the convent, these gifts became more manifested. She experienced the stigmata and levitation, and would also fall into ecstasies.
In 1870, Mariam traveled to India, where she and other nuns founded a new Carmel. In 1875, she helped found a Carmel at Bethlehem. Mariam experienced many physical sufferings, particularly when an injured arm became infected. On August 26, 1878, Mariam died. She is buried in the Carmel at Bethlehem.
In 1869, Mariam wrote a prayer to the Holy Spirit. This is especially appropriate to pray now, since Pentecost is so soon!!!!
Holy Spirit, inspire me.
Love of God, consume me.
To the right path lead me.
Mary my mother, look down upon me.
With Jesus, bless me.
From all evil, all illusion, all danger, preserve me.