Today, June 10th, the universal Church honors St. Joaquina Vedruna de Mas, also known as St. Joachima. She was born into a noble family, and in 1799, she married Teodoro de Mas, a landowner and lawyer; he was from Vic in the Barcelona province of Spain. Joachima and Teodoro had nine children. Teodoro died in 1816, wherein she moved with her family to their home at Vic. Joachima consistently was involved in loving and charitable actions, and especially in Vic, she brought Our Lord to the sick and young women there, seeing “Jesus in disguise.”
Capuchin Esteba de Olot, her spiritual director, and Pablo Jesus Corcuera, bishop of Vic, advised her to start a Carmelite congregation devoted to educating people and serving the less fortunate. On February 6th, 1826, Bishop Corcuera wrote the rule for this congregation, and 20 days thereafter, St. Joachima and eight women professed their vows. St. Joachima founded several Houses to serve people, but during the First Carlist War, which was a civil war in Spain which occurred from 1833 to 1839, St. Joachima was put in prison for a brief period of time. Eventually, she fled from Spain to Roussillon, France staying there from 1836-1842.
In 1850, her congregation was finally approved with an institution having also been formed in Catalonia, and thereafter, communities were established throughout Spain and America. Because of her serious health problems, she resigned her position as Mother Superior. She suffered paralysis the last several years of her life, eventually dying at the age of 71 during a cholera epidemic in Barcelona.
She was known for her intense prayer life, her persistent and lasting trust in the Triune God and her unselfish actions of charity and love to humankind. On May 19, 1940, she was beatified and on April 12, 1959, Pope St. John XXIII canonized her. She is buried at the mother-house in Vic, with her body being found incorrupt by the Catholic Church.
Dear St. Joachima, please help us to follow your example of faith, hope and love, and to be persistent and brave in achieving our goals as you were, putting the Triune God first in your life, and working very hard to serve God and His people in spite of terrible troubles and hostilities. St. Joachima, please pray for us!
With respect and love,