Saint Mariam

 

May 17, 2017 - Feast of the Transfiguration

Pope Francis granted sainthood to two 19th century Ottoman-era nuns on Sunday during a ceremony in Saint Peter’s Square, a move which many see as encouragement for Middle Eastern Christians facing persecution and hardship.

Saint Mariam Baouardy  (5 January 1846 – 26 August 1878), was a Discalced Carmelite nun of the Melkite Catholic Church. She was born to Greek Catholic parents in Ibillin, Galilee. Saint Mariam had the distinguished reputation of being a mystic and a person gifted with the experience of the holy stigmata (the physical wounds in the hands and feet that Jesus suffered and which redeemed us).

The Pope said of Saint Mariam,

An essential aspect of witness to the risen Lord is unity among ourselves, his disciples, in the image of his own unity with the Father. Today too, in the Gospel, we heard Jesus’ prayer on the eve of his passion: “that they may be one, even as we are one” (Jn 17:11). From this eternal love between the Father and the Son, poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (cf. Rom 5:5), our mission and our fraternal communion draw strength; this love is the ever-flowing source of our joy in following the Lord along the path of his poverty, his virginity and his obedience; and this same love calls us to cultivate contemplative prayer. Sister Mariam Baouardy experienced this in an outstanding way. Poor and uneducated, she was able to counsel others and provide theological explanations with extreme clarity, the fruit of her constant converse with the Holy Spirit. Her docility to the Spirit also made her a means of encounter and fellowship with the Muslim world.