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Francisca de Paula De Jesus

The illegitimate daughter of a slave and former slave herself, revered throughout Brazil as the mother of the poor: this is Francisca de Paula De Jesus (1808-1895), who was beatified on May 4 in Baependi by Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints. Born in São João del Rey, where she learned through her mother’s prayers and devotions, though - being female and a slave – she received no formal education. She moved to Baependi a developing rapidly city and was there orphaned. On her deathbed her mother urged her to lead a secluded life in order to better practice charity and to keep her faith. From that point on, Francisca lived alone in a small house on a hill in the outskirts of the city, devoting herself to prayer and to the care of the needy, choosing in this way, from a very young age, a life of poverty and prayer, to be poor among the poor. Her reputation as a humble mother quickly spread: anyone who came near her, received prayers, food, consolation and comfort.

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St. Peter’s Square

Aug. 24, 2019

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