Blessed Laura Vicuña - A Sacrificial Death

April 28, 2016
Source: District of the USA

The admirable story of a young girl who offered her life in order to save her mother from an irregular union.

The sacrifice of Laura Vicuña is a demonstration of the seriousness with which a true Catholic treats the sixth commandment of God and the sacredness and indissolubility of marriage.

In his long interview on Amoris Laetitia Bishop Schneider offers the example of Blessed Laura Vicuña, a 13 years old Chilean girl who offered her life to Jesus in order to obtain the conversion of her mother who was living in "an irregular union". Her mother was living with the owner of the hotel where she found work after the death of her husband. Laura was educated as a boarder by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christian in the Province of Neuquén, Argentina.

The spirit of the genuine penitential discipline of the early Church always remained alive in the Church at all times, until today. We have a shining example of it in the Blessed Laura Vicuña del Carmen, born in 1891 in Chile. Sister Azocar, who took care of Laura, recalled:

I remember that the first time I explained the sacrament of marriage, Laura fainted, probably because she understood from my words that her mother was living in mortal sin as long as she remained with that gentleman. During that time in Junín, only one family lived in accordance with God's will."

Therefore, Laura multiplied her prayers and penances for her mother. She received her first communion on June 2, 1901 with great fervour; she wrote the following resolutions:

1. I want to love and serve you all my life, oh my Jesus; for this, I offer you my soul, my heart and my whole being.
2. I prefer to die rather than offend you by sin; so I want to distance myself from anything that could separate me from you.
3. I promise to do my best, even if I have to offer great sacrifices, that you may be ever more known and loved, and to repair the offences inflicted upon you daily by men who do not love you, especially the ones you receive from those who are close to me.
Oh, my God, grant me a life of love, mortification and sacrifice!"

But her great joy was clouded by seeing her mother, present at the ceremony, not receiving communion. In 1902, Laura offered her life for her mother who was living with a man in an irregular union in Argentina. Laura multiplied her prayers and sacrifices for the true conversion of her mother. A few hours before she died, she called her mother to her bedside and said to her,

Mother, I am going to die. I have asked Jesus for this and my prayers have been heard. Almost two years ago, I offered my life for the grace of your conversion. Mother, will I not have the joy of seeing you repent before I die?"

Her mother, shocked and overwhelmed, made the promise:" Tomorrow morning I will go to the church and I will go to confession." Laura caught the eye of the priest attending her and said: "Father, my mother has just promised to abandon this man; bear witness to her promise!" Then she added: "Now I can die happy!"

With these words, she expired on 22 January 1904 in Junín de los Andes (Argentina), at the age of 13, in the arms of her mother, who rediscovered her faith and put an end to the irregular union in which she had been living.

The admirable example of the life of the young girl now known as Blessed Laura is a demonstration of the seriousness with which a true Catholic treats the sixth commandment of God and the sacredness and indissolubility of marriage. Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to avoid even the appearance of approving an irregular or adulterous union. The Church has always faithfully preserved and transmitted this divine command in its doctrine and practice, without any ambiguity. With the offering of her young life, Blessed Laura certainly did not intend to represent one of several possible different doctrinal or pastoral interpretations. One does not offer one’s life for a possible doctrinal or pastoral interpretation, but for an immutable and universally valid Divine truth. This truth has been demonstrated by a large number of saints who offered their lives, beginning with St. John the Baptist to the simple faithful today whose name only God knows.

Read the full interview of Bishop Schneider on Rorate Caeli