Feast of St. Laura of St. Catherine of Siena (October 21)   Leave a comment

Above:  Saint Laura of Saint Catherine of Siena

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT LAURA MONTOYA Y UPEGUI (MAY 26, 1874-OCTOBER 21, 1949)

Foundress of the Works of the Indians and the Congregation of Missionary Sisters of Immaculate Mary and Saint Catherine of Siena

St. Laura of St. Catherine of Siena loved God, whose image she recognized in the indigenous people of Colombia.

Laura Montoya y Upegui overcame difficulties.  She, born in Jerico, Colombia, on May 26, 1874, was a daughter of Juan de la Cruz Montoya and Dolores Upegui, grew up poor and feeling lonely and unwanted.  Juan died in the Colombian War of 1876, when our saint was two years old.  The family, subsequently impoverished, sent her to live with her grandmother.  Our saint, in her anguish, found comfort in Jesus.

St. Laura became a teacher.  She made that decision at the age of 16 years.  Our saint, educated at Amalfi and Medellin, Colombia, taught indigenous Colombians.  At a time when many in her culture considered the natives subhuman, St. Laura had the opposite opinion.  During this period she founded the Works of the Indians.

St. Laura’s work teaching indigenous people led her to religious life.  She, who respected natives, became a Discaled Carmelite nun and continued to advocate for indigenous people in a racist society.  On May 14, 1914, she founded the Congregation of Missionary Sisters of Immaculate Mary and of Saint Catherine of Siena.  St. Laura served as the first Mother of the order, devoted to the teaching and evangelizing of native people.

St. Laura died in Medellin on October 21, 1949.

Pope John Paul II declared St. Laura a Venerable in 1991 and beatified her in 2004.  Pope Francis canonized her in 2013.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 13, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE TWELFTH DAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAMUEL JOHNSON, “THE GREAT MORALIST”

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN FURCHTEGOTT GELLERT, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER, EDUCATOR, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ELLA J. BAKER, WITNESS FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

THE FEAST OF PAUL SPERATUS, GERMAN LUTHERAN BISHOP, LITURGIST, AND HYMN WRITER

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served,

and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom

the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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