Topics

Father Anthony Ho

Laura offered her life for mother’s conversion 

Voices March 7, 2019

A celebration of Blessed Laura Vicuña at her shrine in Santiago, Chile. Laura was beaten and later died after an attack by her mother’s abusive boyfriend. (santuariolauravicuna.cl)

In 1901, toward the end of her second school year at the Salesian boarding school and on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Blessed Laura Vicuña was enrolled as a member of the Children of Mary Sodality. She received a blue ribbon and a medal of Our Lady. Her sister recalled: “The day on which Laura received the medal of a Child of Mary was one of her happiest days.”

After Christmas, Laura’s mother, Mercedes, came to bring her daughters back for the holidays. Mercedes was living with Manuel Mora, and Laura could sense the moral danger at the ranch. Like St. Dominic Savio, Laura resolved “Death, rather than sin.”

Manuel treated Mercedes badly and he showed interest in Laura. A friend of Mercedes said, “One day, Mora threw Mercedes out of the house, wishing to be alone with Laura. The girl, however, resisted him and managed to save herself from his assault.”

At a fiesta a few days later, Manuel approached Laura and asked her for a dance. Laura resolutely refused and she spent that night hiding outside in the dark. Manuel vented his anger on Mercedes and from that time on he refused to pay for Laura’s tuition. However, the religious sisters at school heard of the matter and offered scholarship to Laura. Hence, Laura returned to school.

Anxious about the fact that her mother was living in sin with Manuel, Laura make an offering of her life to God for her mother’s conversion in 1902. During the winter of 1903, Laura became ill. Her mother brought her home, but her health worsened. Laura felt that God had accepted the offering of her life and that she would never get well.

Both Mercedes and Laura noticed Manuel’s lustful desire for Laura. As a result, Mercedes left with her daughters and rented a small cottage in Junin, hundreds of kilometres away.

On the night of Jan. 14, 1904, Manuel, drunk with whisky, came to Junin and forced Mercedes to let him spend the night at the cottage. Though weak and sick, Laura resolutely said, “If he stays, I will go,” and walked out the door.

Manuel was furious and followed her Mercedes screamed for Laura to run. Laura tried to run to the Sisters’ convent, but Manuel caught her. He whipped and kicked her, and Laura was left on the street unconscious.

Her sickness and the attack so weakened Laura that she died about a week later.

Before her death, Laura spoke with a priest and expressed forgiveness for Manuel. On Jan. 21, Laura said to her younger sister: “Be good to Mama, don’t give her trouble; respect her always. Don’t ever leave her, even if later on you will have a family of your own. Don’t look down upon the poor but be kind to them. Love Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin. Pray every day to your guardian angel to keep you from sin. Don’t forget, Julia, we will be together in heaven.”

On Jan. 22, Laura said to Mercedes, “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 promised that she would repent and go to confession. Laura turned to the priest 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!”

After Laura’s death at about 6 p.m. on Jan. 22, 1904, Mercedes went to confession and abandoned her irregular relationship with Manuel.

Pope St. John Paul II beatified Laura on Sept. 3, 1988. He called her the “Eucharistic flower of Junin de Los Andes, whose life was a poem of purity, sacrifice, and filial love.”


                                             羅拉為母親悔改獻上生命 

在母佑會學校寄宿的第二年學期完畢,真福羅拉.庇賦妮婭在1901年聖母無染原罪瞻禮日,加入聖母孝女會,領受了藍色絲帶繫著的聖母聖牌。她妹妹憶道:「領受聖母孝女會聖牌的那天是羅拉其中最快樂的一天。」

聖誕假期到了,母親梅西德詩把羅拉接回奎爾基衛牧場,和她同居的曼奴埃耳.莫拉先生同住。羅拉住在喪失道德的屋簷下,感到甚是不安,她像聖多明我.沙維豪一樣定志:「寧死不犯罪」。

莫拉先生並不善待梅西德詩,卻對羅拉起了邪念。一位梅西德詩的朋友說:「有一天,莫拉趕梅西德詩出屋外,要和羅拉獨處。但那女孩抗拒他,並逃脫了他的侵犯。」

慶節中莫拉邀請羅拉共舞,羅拉拒絕,要整晚躲在黑暗的屋外;莫拉遷怒梅西德詩,並拒絕為羅拉繳交學費。學校修女得悉,給羅拉獎學金,羅拉得以繼續學業。

羅拉因母親梅西德詩與莫拉同居,十分難過;1902年羅拉願意為母親的悔改,向天主獻上生命。1903年羅拉生病,母親把她接回家,但病況未見起色;羅拉覺得天主已接受了她獻上的生命,認為自己不會痊癒。

梅西德詩母女注意到莫拉的不軌,遂在胡寧租住另外一間小屋。1904年1月14日晚上,喝醉了的莫拉來到小屋,嚷著要留宿,潺弱的羅拉馬上堅決地說:「假如他留下,我便離開。」正當羅拉往外走時,莫拉老羞成怒追出,母親驚叫女兒快逃;還未及到達修院,莫拉追上羅拉,向她抽鞭腳踢,羅拉被留在街上,不省人事。

患病的羅拉,被毒打後更形虛弱,一星期後便離世;死前向身旁的神父表示,願意原諒莫拉。

1月21日當天,羅拉要求妹妹:「要善待媽媽,不要給她增添麻煩,常要尊重她;即使日後成家立室,亦不要離開母親。要善待貧苦,別鄙視他們。愛吾主耶穌和童貞聖母;每日向護守天使祈求,以期遠離罪惡。別忘記,茱莉婭,我們將要一起在天堂。」

1月22日,羅拉對母親梅西德詩說:「媽媽,我快要死了;這是我向耶穌祈求的,祂俯聽了我。約兩年前,我獻上我的生命,求天主賜給你悔改的聖寵。媽媽,我可以在死前,得看你悔改的喜悅嗎?」梅西德詩含淚答應女兒。羅拉轉向神父說:「神父,我母親剛答應離開那位男士,你可要做證啊!」然後說:「現在我可以愉快地死去了。」

1904年1月22日下午六時羅拉去世,梅西德詩立刻到聖堂辦告解,離開莫拉,和他終止所有關係。

1988年9月3日,教宗聖若望保祿二世把羅拉宣聖時,形容羅拉是「安第斯山脈胡寧的聖體小花,她的一生,有如一首貞潔,犧牲和孝愛的詩篇。」