Woman who cared for husband's executioners on road to beatification
By Marta Jimenez, Staff Writer
Maria Seiquer
Maria Seiquer

.- Members of the Apostolic Sisters of Christ Crucified are praying for a miracle to move their foundress one step closer to beatification.

Maria Seiquer Gaya founded the religious order following the death of her husband during the Spanish Civil War.

The Apostolic Sisters of Christ Crucified are present in both Spain and Latin America.

Maria Seiquer was born in 1891 in Murcia, Spain. In 1914, she married Angel Romero, a doctor known for his honesty and dedicated service. The couple built a public chapel on their ranch in Villa Pilar where Maria taught catechism to children and her husband provided free care for the poor once a week.

When the anti-Catholic persecution reached Murcia in 1931, Angel decided to enter politics to defend the Church. He soon became the target of violent attacks.

In August of 1936, he was captured and held in prison. Maria was able to visit him twice in jail where he told her:  “They think they are sacrificing us, and they don’t realize that what they are doing is glorifying us.” She then revealed her intention to devote herself to God.  “If they don’t kill me too, I promise you I will enter the convent,” she promised him.

Angel was shot and killed only weeks after he was detained.

Maria was forced to flee Murcia because of fear for her own life.  While away, she met a woman named Amalia Martin de la Escalera who returned with her to Villa Pilar once the country's civil war ended. Together they founded the first convent of the Apostolic Sisters of Christ Crucified.

“I forgive all my enemies, I pray for them and I desire to forgive all those who have done me wrong,” she wrote.  The community of sisters took to teaching children, feeding the poor and visiting the elderly and the sick in nearby towns. 

Among those they visited were the executioners of her husband.

Numerous witnesses confirm that until her death in 1975, Maria cared for one of the women who denounced her husband. She saw furniture that was once hers in the homes of the sick under her care, but never said a word. Maria cared for the son of the anti-Catholic militant who dragged her husband’s body through the streets, aware of who he was. She also frequently appeared in court pleading that her husband’s killers be spared the death penalty.

In her writings she said, “I have only done what Christ has taught me: Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Maria, together with Sister Amalia, the order's co-foundress, is buried next to her husband Angel in the cemetery near the chapel at Villa Pilar.

Canonization cause

Mother Maria Seiquer’s cause for canonization was opened in 1989.  The diocesan phase was completed two years later. “Now we are waiting for a miracle so that Rome will approve the beatification,” Sister Alicia, the superior of the order, told CNA. 

“She always believed that the people who killed her husband did so out of ignorance and not malice.  She gave them land, homes and her care. For this reason, in the 1980s people began to call for her beatification,” Sister Alicia said.

The congregation, which celebrated its 36th anniversary since receiving papal approval, works in towns and villages assisting the poor.

Sister Alicia said she hopes a miracle will take place in Latin America, where “the people turn to God more than they do in Spain.”

The Apostolic Sisters of Christ Crucified are present in 19 communities in Spain, and have homes in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia and Peru.

The order's charism is “to be identified with Christ Crucified” by seeking to adopt the same attitudes of Christ by “loving, forgiving, showing compassion for every human misery, offering ourselves to the Father and consecrating with Him our entire lives to God, for the good of the entire Church.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: