Mother Candida, Devotee of the Eucharist, to Be Beatified

Discalced Carmelite Died in 1949

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 21, 2004 ( A Discalced Carmelite nun of Sicilian origin known for her devotion to the Blessed Sacrament will be beatified in March.

The cause of Mother Candida of the Eucharist began in 1956. Last April 12, a decree was read in the Pope’s presence, recognizing a miracle attributed to her intercession.

The miracle took place a few hours after Mother Candida’s death. A nun, Sister Mary Margaret of the Most Blessed Sacrament, whom Mother Candida looked after for years as a nurse, commended herself to the deceased and was instantly cured of a very serious foot sore, which she had suffered for 20 years. Doctors had diagnosed the sore as incurable.

Maria Barba, as Mother Candida was first called, was born on Jan. 16, 1884, to a profoundly Catholic family. The family, however, was opposed to her religious vocation, first manifested at age 15. The future blessed had to wait 20 years before entering the convent.

Until she entered the Teresian Carmel at Ragusa in 1919, Maria Barba was sustained by her special devotion to the eucharistic mystery. After entering the Carmel, where she took the name Maria Candida of the Eucharist, she developed fully what she herself described as her «vocation» for the Blessed Sacrament.

Prioress for almost 20 years, she helped to consolidate her community, founded new convents at Ragusa and Syracuse, and made the Discalced Carmelite Fathers return to the island in 1946.

Following several months of acute physical suffering, Mother Candida died on June 12, 1949, on the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.

John Paul II will preside over the beatification on March 21, according to the Vatican Secretariat of State.

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