Franciscan Saints
  Tau
 
 3rd November

The Servant of God Mary Ruiz

 Virgin, Third Order

Mary was born of a distinguished family about the year 1420 in Alcarez, in Spain. Her devout parents raised her in the fear of God from her youth. Adverse to all worldly ado and aspirations, she took no pleasure in the idle and frivolous fiction, which was so widely circulated in those days. She read the lives of the saints instead, drawing lessons of heavenly wisdom from the virtuous examples found in them.

Like the holy hermits and penitents, Mary sought retirement and had a room arranged on an out-of-the-way part of her home, in the seclusion of which she devoted herself to fervent prayer and austere penance. nevertheless the fame of her virtue and beauty led many prominent young men to ask for her hand in marriage. But all such proposals and all such persuasions from her father could not separate her from the Divine Bridegroom she had chosen.

Mary invested with the habit of the Third Order, and her example encouraged several of her young friends to do the same thing. Later she invited them all to come and live in her home, where, united in sisterly charity, they served God with holy zeal. In 1468 Pope innocent VIII raised this pious group of young women to  the rank of a religious congregation, placed them under the obedience of the Franciscan provincial of Carthagena, and appointed Mary Ruiz their first Superior.

In this capacity she built, in addition to a new convent, a church which she placed under the patronage of Mary Magdalene. Up to a ripe old age, she laboured unceasingly and zealously at her own perfection and that of her sisters.

By special grace from on high, the day of her death was revealed to her. She prepared herself with the greatest care, and the Lord received her into his kingdom on the appointed day in the year 1500.

Prayer of the church
(Over the people, Thursday in Passion Week)

Be gracious to Thy people, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that,
rejecting what is displeasing to Thee, they may rather be filled
with delight in Thy commandments.
Through the same Christ Our Lord  Who liveth ´┐Żand reigneth
with Thee and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen

Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois


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