In our parish of National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, there is an announcement board dedicated for the Friends of Laura Vicuña. I got curious when I saw it. Seeing the smiles of the young people in the pictures posted on the board made me ask myself ‘Who is Laura Vicuña?’ Who is she who has a lot of happy friends? So I asked a friend and consulted a search engine to feed my curiosity. Here are what I found.
Who is Laura Vicuña?
Laura Vicuña offered her life for the conversion of her mother. She died on January 22, 1904 after succumbing to pulmonary tuberculosis. She was thirteen. She was quoted as saying the following lines right before her death. “Mama, I offer my life for you, I asked our Lord for this. Before I die, Mother, would I have the joy of seeing you repent?” Her mother promised Laura with God as her witness that she would repent.
Laura was born on April 5, 1891 to Joseph Dominic Vicuña and Mercedes Pino in Santiago Chile. Although there is a question whether the two got married, Laura is surnamed as his father.
When her father died, she, her sister and her mother moved to Argentina. The employer of her mother, Manuel Mora, funded her and her sister’s education. They both studied in the Daughters Of Mary Help of Christians School where her ambition to be a nun started and developed.
Manuel Mora disagreed to her ambition and had beaten Laura on two different occasions but Laura remained focused on her dream .This infuriated Mr. Mora more so he cancelled funding of Laura and her sister’s education. Upon learning of the situation that the two sisters has gotten into, the nuns in the Daughters of Mary Help of Christian school gave them scholarships.
At the age of thirteen, Laura got ill of tuberculosis which was worsened by the beatings she received from Mr. Mora. Her young body was not able to recover from the sickness and she died at an early age.
How do you become a friend of Laura?
Blessed Laura was beatified on September 3, 1988 by Pope John Paul II. January 22 is marked as her feast day in memorial of her sacrificial death.
So how do you become a friend of Laura? She can be your friend by becoming a friend to her friends. If you are a youth you can join the religious group called Friends of Laura Vicuña. If you are an adult you can support the group in different ways. Check Facebook for more information or you can check in your parish too.
After reading about Laura’s Life, I believe you will be her true friend if you…
- Love your parents. Laura so loved her mother that she dedicated her life for her. You are not expected to do the same but you can show love by respecting and obeying them. Help in the household chores and and study well.
- Hate Bullying. Laura is the patron of abuse victims so she dislikes bullying and any type of abuse. One, stop being a bully if you think you are and two, help those who are bullied and report cases of bullying and three help in the conversion of the bullies.
- Pray a lot. Laura had not much friends when she was young because she was always in the chapel praying though she had one good friend named Mercedes Vera.
- Hate Sin. Laura loves visiting the confession because according to her it gave her strength against temptation and helped her avoid sin
And most of all if you..
- Love God more than anything and anyone. Laura, on her first communion, wrote as her resolution that she wanted to give her whole being to God and that she would rather die than offend Him.
I implore you to please pray to our God for Blessed Laura that she becomes a saint soon. You may also ask Blessed Laura to pray for your intentions and be a testimony to her canonization.
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Salesians of Don Bosco in the United States (USA West Province)
The Life Story of Blessed Laura Vicuña