Nun Seen as a Compass Leading to the Needy

Cardinal Amato Represents Pope at Beatification of Spanish Founder

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LA SEU D’URGELL, Spain, OCT. 12, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Calling her an “exemplary daughter of the Church” and “glorious model to be contemplated and imitated,” Cardinal Angelo Amato presided over the beatification ceremony for Mother Ana María Janer. 

The cardinal, who is Prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, represented Benedict XVI at the Mass last Saturday in Spain. Some 200 priests concelebrated.

Blessed Ana María founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Urgell. The order is dedicated primarily to teaching, and care of the sick, elderly and needy. The group operates in Spain, Italy, and throughout Latin America, as well as in Equatorial Guinea. It has some 300 women religious.

“Now, the Pope recognizes the holiness of Ana María Janer, illustrious for her virtues and her apostolate of charity,” said Cardinal Amato. He described the newly beatified religious as a “humble, strong” woman, “full of mercy for all, especially the sick and the needy.” He also described her as a “living compass turned to God” who “orients us to the needy.”

Born Dec. 18, 1800, in Cervera, a small village in Spain, Ana María was said to have a special love for the cross of Christ. It is reported that she asked to die on the ground as a penitent, saying Christ “expired for me nailed to the cross.” She died Jan. 11, 1885.

“To look at Christ crucified became for her an incentive that enabled her to be a ‘sign and clear witness of him who first loved us, of him who so loves us that he gave his life,'” said Sister Cecilia Gutiérrez, a member of the congregation’s community in Cordoba, Argentina, and author of the official hymn for Mother Ana María’s beatification.

Great love

Some 4,000 people filled the tent set up for the beatification Mass in the Pyrenean city in which Mother Janer founded the institute, and where her mortal remains now rest. 

Approximately 150 relatives of the blessed and numerous friends, pupils, former pupils and staff of her schools and centers attended, along with the members of her religious order.

At the end of the Mass, Sister Irma Beretta, the superior-general of the congregation, said, “We feel that these steps that she initiated, we are following today and they are directed to Christ and to today’s world, so in need of a message of hope.”

She invited those listening to “see the face of Jesus Christ in those around us,” adding “how lovely it would be if today we are left with the commitment to accept in our lives the great love he has for us!”

Sister Beretta said now is the time to pray to Blessed Ana María for all physical, family and moral needs. 

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ZENIT Staff

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