MOTHER SOLEDAD SANJURJO SANTOS
SERVANT OF GOD
“Pearl of the Antilles”
Mother Soledad Sanjurjo was born on November 15, 1892, inArecibo,Puerto Rico. She was just a girl when she met the Servants of Mary in Río Piedras where she attended their school; later on she would enter their Congregation.
After several years of untiring dedication to the care of the sick, she was appointedSuperiorof various communities. In 1950 she was named Provincial Superior of theAntilles. She directed her efforts toward extending the apostolic work of the Servants of Mary throughoutCuba, theDominican RepublicandPuerto Rico. In 1954 she saw one of her most ardent desires fulfilled: the establishment of a Novitiate inPonce,Puerto Ricowhere the young women called to the Congregation could receive the human, spiritual and professional formation required to carry out their delicate mission at the bedside of the sick.
Her life was one of simplicity and fruitfulness. “Hidden with Christ in God”, she was totally dedicated to others and always sought ways to meet their needs and to make the presence of the living Christ visible in the world.
It was April 23, 1973, Easter Monday, when Mother Soledad exchanged her earthly dwelling for that of heaven, but her presence, always “hidden with Christ in God”, continues to live among us. The deep Christian convictions that motivated her enlighten our path today and are as necessary as ever on our journey toward God.
Her reputation for sanctity is acclaimed by the Sisters and people who personally knew her and is being passed on to the new generations. Upon finding enough documents and witnesses to begin the Canonization Process, the Superior General of the Servants of Mary, Ministers to the Sick, Mother Josefa Oyarzábal, asked the Archbishop of San Juan, His Excellency Roberto González, O.F.M. to begin the investigative process for the cause. The petition was joyfully accepted by the Archbishop, and once consent was given by the Auxiliary Bishops and the “Nihil Obstat” of the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of the Saints was obtained, the diocesan phase of the Process of Canonization of Mother Soledad Sanjurjo Santos began onFebruary 24, 2004.
OnFebruary 26, 2004, her mortal remains were exhumed from the Saint Maria Magdalena de Pazzi cemetery in Viejo San Juan. After being examined and identified by expert doctors, her remains were placed in a new urn which was deposited in a niche in the Chapel of the Servants of Mary inSan Juan.
Mother Soledad SanjurjoThe following excerpts were found among her writings.
“I have always, dear Mother, been very happy in the Congregation, but ever since I made my perpetual vows, I feel intense joy and a great desire to serve our Lord God in the way that He wills.”
“Nothing gives more peace to the soul than complete surrender into the hands of God.”
“Let us pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary, our loving Mother, that she may ever be our consolation and support in the struggles of life and obtain for us from her Divine Son final perseverance in His holy service with the greatest perfection that is possible for our weak and imperfect nature.”
“There is nothing to fear as long as we embrace the will of God. He will give you all the graces and help you need to carry out His most holy will.”
“Blessed be the Lord who has given me back my health even though I was and still am conformed to whatever He asks of me…I try to be ready every day and I go to confession as if it were the last one of my life.”
“Reverend Mother, I tell you in all sincerity, that if I were a few years younger and my legs were more agile, I would volunteer wholeheartedly to go to Africa, but I must be conformed with the desire and with the offering of my poor prayers so that the Lord will bless and help the Sisters who have the good fortune to go.”
“We have had some wonderful days during the Christmas Season, some before the crib of the Divine Child and others at the feet of Our Lady of Providence; these are our two loves, always ready to help us which they certainly do.”
PRAYER FOR THE GLORIFICATION OF THE SERVANT OF GOD
Father of goodness, in Mother Soledad Sanjurjo you revealed to us the treasures of grace of a “life hidden with Christ in God”.
Grant us the unwavering faith that filled and transformed her life so that like her, we may discover your presence in our lives and dedicate ourselves in your name to the service of our brothers and sisters, especially those in most need.
We ask you to glorify your faithful servant and to grant us the grace we ask of you today through her intercession (here make your request) for your greater glory and the good of the Church. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.
In conformity with the decrees of Pope Urban VIII, we declare that it is not our intention to anticipate the decree of ecclesiastical authorities and that this prayer is not intended for public worship.
Cum Licentia Eccl.