Mother Camila de San Jose Rolon

 

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Mother Camila de San Jose Rolon

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PRESENTATION One of the first causes of canonization in Argentina is the cause of Camila Rolón, founder of the Congregation of the Poor Buenos Aires Sisters of San José. The Servant of God is well known in the Republic, as she managed to specifically respond to the crisis of liberalism at the end of the 19th century, founding a congregation whose primary purpose was to devote itself to the education of poor and abandoned children and care of the ill, mainly in the countryside, which was devoid of any spiritual help. Before getting into the details of the life and virtues of the Servant of God, it is best to learn a little bit about her and the history of her cause, as well as the particularities of this Positio. This is the purpose of the following brief presentation. 1. Biographical summary The Servant of God Camila Rolón was born in San Isidro, in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 18, 1842, and was baptized on July 22. She was the second born of seven children of Eusebio Rolón and María Gutiérrez, locals of San Isidro, poor in fortune, but rich in faith and virtue. At the age of 5 or 6, the Servant of God received Confirmation during a rural mission. She received her First Communion at the age of 12, in San Isidro, where she also attended elementary school. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Buenos Aires where the Servant of God regularly attended the nearby Church of Socorro, whose Pastor, Father FranciscoVillar, was her spiritual director until 1871, when he died of yellow fever. She attended daily Mass and took Communion 2 or 3 times per week according to the custom of the time. The Servant of God spent her youth and adolescence dedicated entirely to active participation in parish life, above all through catechesis, and in helping her mother with the housework and caring for her siblings. At the age of 18 she felt a call to religious life. In 1886, despite family opposition, she tried to enter the Capuchin order of nuns of Buenos Aires; however, unable to do so, she joined, along with other youth, the “Blessed” of the Holy House of Spiritual Exercises, although she did not live there. During the terrible epidemics of cholera and yellow fever that hit Buenos Aires in 1867 and 1871, she dedicated herself to helping the victims. In 1875 she entered the Discalced Carmelite Monastery founded shortly before in Buenos Aires, as a Novice, where she remained just twenty-nine days. Suffering gravely from a tumor that accompanied her throughout her life, she returned home and spent 2 years in recuperation. In 1877, her father died. That same year the young priest Saturnino Azurmendi, who received assistance from the Rolón family during his studies, was appointed Pastor of the Exaltation of the Cross, a countryside parish in the province of Buenos Aires. The Servant of God moved there with her maternal grandmother in order to assist in parish activities and to improve her health. She devoted herself to catechesis and organized various projects. 1

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Meanwhile, a “thought” that she had had before entering the monastery grew within her: to found a group of sisters to dedicate themselves to the instruction and education of poor children, mainly in the countryside, and to the material and spiritual help of ill people in need. Father Emilio George C.M., Pastor of Luján, to whom the Servant of God entrusted her spirit, helped her by effectively drafting the Order Project of the new “Association of San José, placed under the protection of Our Lady of Carmen”, which the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Monsignor Aneiros, adopted on December 23, 1879. On January 28, 1880, along with two companions, trusting only in the Divine Providence, she founded the Congregation in Mercedes, in the province of Buenos Aires. On March 19, 1882 the first sisters took their Religious Vows and the Congregation began to develop under the leadership of its founder. In 1886 the Archbishop, after the completion of the required six-year period, appointed Sister Catalina de Cristo Mother Superior. From the First General Chapter, held in 1890, the Servant of God ruled the Institute until her death, developing an extraordinary amount of activity, despite her poor health, to strengthen her work. On June 16, 1891, she obtained the Decree of Praise, the Papal approval of the Institute on May 3, 1898, and final approval of the Constitutions on December 15, 1908. The Congregation progressed remarkably, with 5 houses in 1890, 25 in 1900, and at the death of the Servant of God, 29 houses in 4 countries, with some 150 sisters. Carried by her love to the Supreme Pontiff, she received the grace to move the Mother House to Rome in 1910. It was there that she died on February 16, 1913, after being purified with spiritual tests and a painful illness. Her remains, transferred to Argentina, lie at the Chapel of the Mother House in Muñiz. 2. Chronological summary. (Need to fill in missing information for various dates below) 07.18.1842: Born in San Isidro, in the province of Buenos Aires. 07.22.1842: Camila Corina is baptized in the parish church in her native town. 1847: Receives Confirmation from Monsignor Escalada. 1854: First Communion in San Isidro. The family moves to Buenos Aires. 1860: Feels a call to the religious life. 1866: Failing her attempt to join the Capuchin order of nuns, she attends the Holy House of Spiritual Exercises in Buenos Aires. 1867: Dedicates herself to the care of those infected during the cholera epidemic. 1871: Manifests her heroic charity during the yellow fever epidemic. 04.21.1875: Admitted to Discalced Carmelite Monastery of San José, Buenos Aires. 05.21.1875: Gravely ill, she is forced to leave the monastery . 1877: Her father dies. She lives and works at the parish of the Exaltation of the Cross (Province of Buenos Aires). 01.281880: Founds the Congregation of the Poor Sisters of San José in Mercedes (Province of Buenos Aires). 2

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03.19.1881: Solemn Taking of the Habit of the Servant of God, Sister Rosa de Santa María and Sister María Luisa de San José. 03.19.1882: Religious Vows of the Servant of God and her two companions. 11.1885: A new House of San Jose is founded in Rojas (Province of Buenos Aires). 11.22.1886: Upon completion of the established six-year period, the Archbishop orders her to leave the management in the hands of the oldest sister. The Servant of God renders obedience to Sister Rosa de Santa María. For this resignation, the Archbishop appoints Sister Catalina de Cristo. 03.09.1890: First General Chapter held in Muñiz (Province of Buenos Aires, head office of the Congregation from that date. The Servant of God is unanimously elected Mother Superior. 04.12.189106.26.1891: First trip to Rome. 06.16.1891: Leo XIII grants the Decree of Praise of the Institute. 03.19.1892: Final vows of the Servant of God and her two companions. 03.19.1896: 2nd General Chapter. She is unanimously re-elected. 05.03.1898: Leo XIII bestows the Decree of Papal Approval of the Institute. 03.19.1902: Again re-elected as Mother Superior in the 3rd General Chapter. 03.31.190307.07.1903: Second trip to Rome 06.07.1903: Monsignor Juan N. Terrero is appointed Apostolic Visitor. 07.19.190310.15.1903: Apostolic Visit of Father Santiago Barth, CSSR, delegated by Monsignor Terrero 09.28.1903: Pius X grants the Decree of Final Approval of the Constitutions. 07.15.1904: The decree of final approval is revoked due to the opposition of Monsignor Terrero; the Constitutions are approved for 7 years from 1903. 11.01.1904 01.22.1906: Third trip to Rome. Foundation of the House in Rome, Via dell’Arco della Ciambella No. 19. 08.17.1905: Canonical establishment of the Novitiate in Rome. House relocated to Via dei Fienili 45 A. 09.25.1905: Aggregation to the Carmelite Order. 03.19.1908: 4th General Chapter. Re-elected Mother Superior for the fourth time. 09.02.190811.29.1909: Fourth trip to Rome. 12.15.1908: Pius X grants the Final Approval of the Constitutions. 09.29.1910: Travels to Rome for the fifth time, accompanied by the General Council. 11.19.1910: Canonical establishment of the Motherhouse in Rome. 12.05.1910: Father Joaquín de Llevaneras Vives y Tutó, OFM Cap., is appointed Apostolic Visitor. 12.02.191012.15.1913: Apostolic Visit of Father Vives y Tutó. 02.16.1913: The Servant of God dies in Rome. 3

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03.21.1913: Her remains are transferred to Buenos Aires. Rev. Father Yvon Beaudoin, O. M. I. Rapporteur of the Cause PRELIMINARY I. Sources of information and evidence. For the writing of the Information on the heroic virtues of the Servant of God, the following sources and evidence have been used: 1. Witnesses, contained in the Summary: Depositions of 'de visu' and 'de auditu' witnesses in the Roman Ordinary Proceedings, the Platense and Buenos Aires Rogatorial and Buenos Aires Apostolic. 2. Documents: a) Documented Biography with documents of the time. b) Summarium ex Officio super Scriptis. c) Letters of the Servant of God not included in the Documented Biography which were submitted for consideration in three volumes: “Writings of Mother Camila de San José Rolón” II. Acronyms and Abbreviations. Sum. S.S. Scrip. B. D. C. S. D. = Depositions of witnesses in the proceedings = Summary of the Writings = Documented Biography (Positio II) = Letters of the Servant of God 4

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GENERAL VIRTUES AND REPUTATION FOR HOLINESS The Servant of God Camila Rolón enjoyed a reputation for holiness during her life, as recognized by the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints in the Decree of Introduction of the Cause (March 13, 1975). Even in her youth she was considered a person of great virtue, as attested by the Dean of the Metropolitan Monsignor Mark Ezcurra who knew her at that time in her life: “She was very dear to my family and everyone knew her for her virtue, kindness and gentleness. She was very pious, and constantly communed to the countryside, confessing to the Chaplain of the Pino ranch, where they spent the summer with Miss Elvira Ezcurra”… “Mother Camila was always very well looked upon in my family and in her final years she was considered a saint, full of merit for her virtues and extraordinary charity.” Cardinal Antonio Caggiano, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, who met her around 1908, states: “…among the students of Colegio Pío Latino Americano, everyone considered her a saint”… “She was already old, and in all her actions, and in her dealing with the Argentinean students of Colegio Pío Latino Americano who visited her, it was of common opinion that she was considered “a saint.” (Sum., pp. 269-270) The same is declared by the witnesses of all the proceedings: “My view and that of the nuns of our Congregation, as well as others, is that Mother Camila was a holy woman. This view is based on her life, her behavior, and how she acted. When I found myself in front of her, it seemed to me like I was before an extraordinary being.” (Sum., p. 97, § 46) The Reverend R.P. José Abate, OFM Conv., who knew her in her later years when he was Chaplain of the House of Rome says: “For what little I knew of her while she was alive, I’ve always considered her as a perfect nun, incredibly intelligent, but at the same time exceptionally simple and humble, full of fire of divine charity and her whole heart was given to the abandoned, the orphans. Moreover, I have always heard the same thing from the sisters who were her subjects and therefore knew her very well.”… “Frequenting, from 1913 to today, for ministry reasons - the Institute of the Sisters here in Rome, I can attest that the memory of the Servant of God, as a figure of exceptional virtue and true but simple holiness, has remained [ ]vivid and continuous.” (Sum., p. 46, §§ 5-6) Father Urbano Alvarez, OSA, Consultant of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office and confessor of the House of Rome since 1905, puts it this way: “Many years ago I met the woman who we cry for today… and I dealt with her intimately and therefore know the extraordinary qualities that adorned her soul, her very clear intelligence, big heart, strength of character, and to these natural gifts the Lord added supernatural gifts in abundance, pouring them over her… she slept among humans to wake among the Angels, who she imitated in purity and in the love of God and neighbor. For many years I was the custodian of the secrets of the soul of the Reverend Mother Camila… now thinking about the beautiful and holy life of that strong woman who loved God, I rejoice in the memories of her passage through this valley of misery, since she rose as the Savior of the world doing good to all and reminding everyone with her wonderful life that this world is not the center of souls.” 5

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Throughout her life the Venerable Mother had a single burning passion: to sanctify herself and earn for God as many souls as possible. Entirely devoted to the fulfillment of this purpose, she was able to overcome all the difficulties that opposed her with God’s help, practicing all the theological and cardinal virtues heroically, as recognized by numerous witnesses: “The Servant of God was virtuous to the highest degree. You could see even on the outside that she was more virtuous than those around her, and this was noticed not only by the sisters of her congregation but also by the people who observed her, the authorities and all who dealt with her. This manner of acting was constant in Mother Camila. Her spirit never waned; you can say that this extraordinary virtue attributed to Mother Camila was public and celebrated.” (Sum., p. 184, § 43) “I believe that Mother Camila was virtuous to a heroic degree, that is to say, in a more sublime manner.” (Sum., p. 261, § 3) “I believe that the Mother tried hard and succeeded in being virtuous to a heroic degree, especially those virtues that I mentioned as characteristic in her, such as faith, charity, humility, simplicity and poverty, which I see as the entirety of her life.” (Sum., p. 267, § 15) In the testimonies, heroism is displayed in each of the virtues, as much theological as cardinal, practiced by Mother Camila since childhood, in such a manner that the heroic exercise of these span her entire life, from the use of reason until death Father Amancio González Paz, who knew her when he was a child, stresses that the heroism of the virtues of the Servant of God should be considered more in the perseverance than in the extraordinary acts: “…this unique adventure, to satisfy the obligation to strive for perfection, to be holy, thus reaching her ultimate goal, occupied every instant of her existence, from birth to death … She never even tried another path, never at any period in her life could she be surprised in a decline in her fervor, her standards, her vocation, which is like a golden thread from her early childhood to old age… Have you ever thought about this, the most characteristic mark of Mother Camila? Have you considered what that means, the great miracle and clear signal of a great sanctity? Have you noticed that, at the same time as this simply heroic Sostenuto proven virtues such as patience, prudence, poverty, humility, tolerance, altruism and many more count as real procession?...” 6

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I.- HEROIC FAITH Considering that “faith is a supernatural virtue by which, with the inspiration and help of God's grace, we believe that what He has revealed is true, not because its intrinsic truth is seen with the natural light of reason, but because of the authority of God who reveals it, of God who can neither deceive nor be deceived” (Dz 1879, Ds. 3008), we can prove that the Servant of God proved – throughout her entire life – to have this virtue in an eminent degree: pure faith, without consideration of the sensitive or extraordinary; active faith, meditating and constantly contemplating the divine mysteries; living faith, animated by charity, acting out of pure love of God; courageous faith, engaging in strenuous apostolic work, witnessing this; ardent faith, giving outstanding examples in full compliance with the evangelical mandates; strong faith, persevering through difficult tests. Since childhood The Servant of God did not inherit any material fortune from her parents - devout Christians who expressed a deep faith in both prosperous and adverse events - , but rather the spiritual riches of a strong religious background. Having noticed in this special daughter a love of God, they took particular care of her. The virtue of faith appears in Camila since the beginning of her life: “From childhood one noted a religious precocity in her, a great love for God, desire to do good for the soul, a spirit of faith. When she left school she would go to church to visit the Blessed Sacrament and stayed there to pray; she really liked the catechism and taught it to others.” (Sum., pp. 165- 166, § 3) Father Guerrero writes: “…since she was a child she was inclined to serve God, to pray, to frequent the Sacraments; she liked to play nun and pray in solitary places, make little altars and light candles, and have religious objects.” Without a doubt, the First Communion, prepared by the Parish Priest Diego Palma, was the starting point of the refined Eucharistic devotion of the Servant of God. No information was kept in this regard, but one can infer the importance that this event had on her life, by the special concern she always had that her daughters dedicate themselves to preparing children for First Communion. During her youth After her family moved to Buenos Aires, young Camila’s faith was increasingly fortified. The Pastor of Nuestra Señora del Socorro, Father Francisco Villar, was her spiritual director up until 1871, when he died, a victim of yellow fever. Rising early each 7

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day, she would go to the parish to attend Mass and receive Communion when allowed by her Director, which was two or three times a week. “The Servant of God began to regularly attend the parish church of Nuestra Señora del Socorro. Older people still remember this detail. She was careful in choosing a Spiritual Director and frequently approached the Eucharistic table. She gladly taught the Christian Doctrine, preferring poor children and giving them material assistance.” (Sum., p .3, § 6) “She always loved frequenting the Sacraments, and prayer. She was often at the Church of Socorro, preferring to remain in front of the image of the miraculous Lord enshrined in the church… She zealously strived for both children and adults to know and love God.” (Sum., p 79, § 42) This persistent effort of Camila to lead others to spiritual life, can be found in the testimony of her friends Aniceta Lagos de Pellegrini and Carolina Lagos de Gallo, who remembered, when they were older, the charity with which she prepared them for First Communion , and the earnest diligence to bring them later to confess, on certain days of the month. In her religious vocation From the age of eighteen, Camila felt God calling her to the practice of the evangelical counsels. Carried by truly supernatural motives, she persevered in her purpose, and despite the difficulties, of her family opposing her, she tried, unsuccessfully, to enter the Capuchin nunnery. After going through the intense experience of the cholera and yellow fever epidemics, during which she heroically exercised charity, Camila felt the desire to devote herself to the Lord in monastic life even more strongly. During her brief 29-day stay in the Carmelite monastery, she left the memory of a soul entirely belonging to God. There she was purified in the crucible of tribulation, and had to leave due to an illness that would accompany her throughout her life. Far from declining in faith, her zeal found fertile ground in the Exaltation of the Cross, the place of her convalescence “… there, Mother was devoted to teaching Catechism to children, especially the poor, and visiting the sick, preparing for the Sacraments; she also took care of the ornaments for the Church.” (Sum., p.103, § 7) Already at that time, her spiritual life was based on the belief that God is truly the Lord, and this was her spontaneous reaction to any event: “. . . birth is as natural as dying, and you can believe that the child does nothing itself but rather hold a blind Faith and a sure hope of reaching the end of the journey, trusting in Him for whom all must wait.” In the founding and development of the Institute 8

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At the Exaltation of the Cross, where, through her example, she contributed to lifting the religious spirit of the population, her vocation as founder matured. Sick and totally devoid of economic means, her unwavering faith was evident in the vicissitudes inherent in founding the Institute. She spared no prayer and consulted with experienced priests in order to know the will of God. “… I consulted with a Reverend Father and he also told me that it was impossible without money, but I said by requesting alms, and I had so much Faith in it that I thought I did not need more than the license of the confessor to express as such to His Excellency and Reverend Archbishop…” “… she prayed a lot to know God’s will, entrusting mainly in the Blessed Virgin of Carmen, Santa Teresa de Jesús and San José.” (Sum., p. 103, § 8) Once she was sure it was the Lord who had entrusted this arduous task to her, full of faith she launched herself without delay into fulfilling it, as remembered by the Servant of God herself: “Oh! Voice of God, oh happy day, January 28, 1880, in which without time to watch my wretchedness and my failure and only lifting my eyes up and setting them on the greatness of God and with a faith so alive, I abandoned myself on ample breast of your Providence, which never abandons those who put their hopes in Him.” Amid the difficulties of the Institute’s beginning, her ardent faith and trust in the Divine Providence radiated, which was often rewarded with miracles. “… she had an extraordinary supernatural faith. For her the impossible did not exist. When the other sisters came to her grieving, to say that they lacked the most essential things, she responded: Women of little faith! and she sent them to the chapel to pray.” (Sum., p. 233, § 7) The statements of the processes attest to Camila’s perseverance in faith: “I do not remember ever seeing Mother Camila lacking at any time this spirit of supernatural faith. It was strong, even in the midst of difficulties.” (Sum., p. 86 § 22) “I have not noticed a drop of faith in her spirit; it seemed to me rather that each day this virtue was greater in her, and she always found the strength to overcome all difficulties.” (Sum., p. 234, § 8) Faith and prayer Camila nourished her faith in constant, assiduous and fervent prayer. Her contemplative attitude was seen on the outside: “The Servant of God received from the Lord the gift of faith, and manifested it outwards with words and deeds. She spent the whole day with her mind directed to the Lord and we frequently saw her praying. In the Church she showed great devotion, and listened to the Mass and approached the Eucharist with great devotion.” (Sum., p. 33, § 5) “As long as her duties allowed, she devoted herself to prayer and devotional readings in the Chapel, and when she could not move anymore, in her room. In her speech, it was clear that her mind was on God, even in small details, such as when giving a gift or a picture, accompanying them with a pious reflection.” (Sum., p. 173, § 21) 9

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“… It was common opinion,” says Cardinal Antonio Caggiano, “to consider her a saint. I think this happens with all those who the people at times and with reason called saints, men of God, who showed through their words and actions an intimate union with God our Lord with whom they live in constant union which is manifested by the characteristics of peace, serenity, joy and humility… Mother Camila always spoke as if she were before God, and as if she always prayed in his presence, as if she saw him!” (Sum., p. 270,§ 6) “Among the most vivid memories that are imprinted in my mind – according to Father José Abate - is that of her prayer: uplifting, serene and almost bright I would say”… “I still have before my eyes her prayer book bound in black cloth. If I remember correctly, with slightly large characters, which she had on her table, beside her sickbed.” (Sum., p. 46, § 3) “From what I could appreciate in everything I’ve seen in Mother Camila, I think she had a truly supernatural faith… Mother always lived in the presence of God, her life was a continuous union with God, with much prayer, both mental and vocal.” (Sum., p. 171, § 14) This deep life of faith and prayer are evident in the Servant of God’s letters. It is common for them to rise spontaneously from the consideration of the facts, to prayer, which is an expression of her sureness in God’s power, praise, adoration, thanksgiving, compliance, filial fear, trust, a desire to serve to the Lord. “…Glory to God in the highest, and give only unto Him all the honor and praise because He is good and his mercies are great”. “Ask yourself, Lord, your Holy and adored Will…, does your wretched slave have no will or desires in this world other than to do the Holy and Adored Will of my good God…” “Yes, my God, I would like to praise you with a new song. Oh! Blessed be the Lord and His mercies will sing forever and ever. So be it. So be it.”… “Oh! Who is like God! Blessed be His Holy Name…” “Oh! and how I would like to convert the whole world and invite them to accompany me to praise Him because He alone is worthy of praise…” Faith expressed in words and deeds Accustomed to listening to God due to the experience of mystical life, Mother Camila translated the thinking, the word and the revelation of God into words and deeds: “Her ardent faith showed through her behavior and her words. She prayed with great devotion and was the first to go down to the Chapel for community events. During the day she was often found before Jesus of the Blessed Sacrament.” (Sum., p. 9, § 19) Sister Vicenta Bernasconi, sister of the Daughters of Charity, accounts: “Our Mother Superior always told us to try to emulate Mother Camila’s spirit of faith. I cannot elaborate on this point, but I remember upon seeing her in the Church, Mother Camila strengthened us through her devotion, and strengthened us also by the manner in which she trained children in the spirit of piety. She always gave strength to me and to my companions in her speech, which had true impetus of faith and great trust in the Divine Providence. (Sum., p. 127, § 4) Faith transmitted to others 10

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The Servant of God conveyed her faith and security founded on God, to all those who approached her: “In her speech, in her words, in her sayings, she expressed great faith, and she kept repeating to us that we had to have much faith. In all her actions and her deeds she also manifested the spirit of faith, trusting always that God would help her… I have always felt that she expresses herself in this way. When she went to the Chapel to pray, she would spend long periods of time kneeling on the steps of the altar… She counseled us on the fear of God, the horror of sin and punctuality.” (Sum., p. 61 §§ 17-18) “Mother Camila had the gift of faith to a high degree, and when she spoke to us about the Lord, she recommended that we be good and invited us to pray for the sinners, and she did so with so much persuasion that it moved us all.” (Sum., p. 47 § 2) Faith and zeal Her spirit of faith led her to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness above all things: “She had a true zeal for the souls. She treated sinners with great kindness, seeking the good in all.” (Sum., p. 279, § 24) “Mother Camila was also greatly sought for spreading the Christian faith” …“in her conversations she always used kind words.” (Sum., p. 86, § 22) She placed great care in conserving the purity of faith and was concerned about the religious formation of the Sisters “Mother Camila was very careful to not introduce new things that could be a danger to faith. She always worked towards trying to understand the truths of our Holy Religion and sought to convert sinners. She did this with the children of their schools and hospices, and with all adults of whatever condition they were in. It was her own thing, that came from her heart, she encouraged Christian life by teaching catechism and giving advice.” (Sum., pp. 171-172, § 17) “She tried to maintain her religious faith in its entire purity, and advised everybody to do the same. She worked hard for the conversion of sinners and went to their homes in Muñiz to bring them closer to God.” (Sum., p. 139, § 20) “She was very careful, so that from the Novitiate she would instruct us well on the truths of faith, that we study the catechism, and she had explanations given to us by a priest, so that, when it was our turn, we could teach religion well to the children in our homes. The first thing Mother Camila did in our houses was establish a small Library of good books approved by the Church, chosen by a priest, especially by the Jesuits, to ensure their faith.” (Sum., p. 109, § 22) She was truly eager to learn the truths of our holy religion “She enjoyed listening to sermons, she never tired of hearing the word of God.” (Sum., p. 86, § 21) 11

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“…She had great devotion to the word of God, the Sacred Scripture, the Sermons and Spiritual Exercises, and monthly retreats, ensuring that these were done in the best possible way.” (Sum., p. 171, § 15) “… when she meditated one could see in her great devotion and fervor; she made sure that we sisters, in particular the younger ones, learned to meditate well. In every conversation it was always her purpose to lead others to God, which is also what she did in in her regular work. You can say that she really was the Servant of God. Mother Camila sought the honor and glory of God. She was always eager to hear the word of God, to study it in depth and ensure that we also listened. … She always strived to have Priests preach the Retreats to the Community, as well as on major holidays, such as the Holy Virgin of Carmen, San José, and Santa Teresa.” (Sum., pp. 173-174, § 21) Faith and Devotions The Servant of God expressed her faith through her devotions. We can affirm that they are an expression of the most genuine forms of popular piety in Latin America. We will present them following the document of Puebla (see evangelism in the present and the future of Latin America. Puebla document, n. 454). A) The Trinity Presence “I had a great devotion to the Holy Trinity and the Holy Sacrament of the Altar.” (Sum., p. 171, § 14) As testimony to this devotion to the mystery of the Trinity, the congregation is kept in the habit of taking a break from work on hearing the signal of the hour and to say, “Praised and adored be the Holy Trinity. Now and forever and ever and ever. Amen.” And after praying a Hail Mary, concluding: “A greater honor and glory of the Holy Trinity. So be it.” Camila liked praying the Creed and recited it as a profession of her faith. In momentous times she asked the Holy Spirit for light and asked the Sisters to do the same. Referring to the trisagion, the Servant of God says: “...in current circumstances, we should sing the hymn every hour and it should resound to the ends of the earth to make amends for offending God thrice holy ... for you have to know I am mad with the sacred trisagion.” Her devotion to each of the persons of the Holy Trinity can be seen in acts of faith, hope and charity formerly prayed for in the Institute: “I believe in God the Father, I believe in God the Son; I believe in the Holy Spirit, I believe in the Holy Trinity ...” B) The sense of the Providence of God the Father The conviction that the Lord is the Lord and the acceptance of its sovereignty led the Servant of God to an absolute certainty in the ineffable manifestation of his goodness: God is the Father who governs all for the sake of those chosen, His children. Father 12

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Guerrero, her first biographer, says: "Where did this humble woman get an idea so great, to raise, educate and feed poor children, imploring public charity on them? Where does this enthusiasm to imitate the saints, for works of zeal, for the worship of God and glory of the Church come from? It was the faith of her soul. This virtue is the gateway to all spirituality and the foundation of Christian life. Mother Camila received from God, to an eminent degree, the gift of faith! In all the moments of her life she saw God in His providence ...” Sister Josefa Coppola states: “The Servant of God knew how to instill in us Sisters a great spirit of faith, an intense love of sacrifice and an unlimited confidence in Divine Providence. Thus fortified, we remained impassive in the face of any hardship, certain that the Lord would not forsake us in an initiative that was aimed at the salvation of souls.” (Sum., p. 32, § 4) C) Christ celebrated in the mystery of His Incarnation, His Crucifixion, the Eucharist and devotion to the Sacred Heart. The faith of the Servant of God in Christ, God and Man, and his real presence in the Eucharist is manifested in the devotion with which she celebrated and pondered the mysteries of his sacred humanity. She often proposed Jesus’ hidden life to her daughters, as a model: “... love of a practical life should reign in the heart of a true nun, in the spirit of her holy vocation, always bearing in mind that we should seek to imitate the hidden life of our dear Jesus... where it is remembered that the Blessed Virgin and Baby Jesus and our Holy Father Saint Joseph spent much poverty in the humble workshop of Nazareth.” “Ah daughters, how poor would the King of Heaven and Queen of Angels be and how much they suffered for our love and how little we want to suffer.” From her childhood and youth, Jesus of the Blessed Sacrament was the center of her life. I visited her frequently and her confessors approached her to receive communion as often as allowed. Guerrero affirms that the Servant of God “in front of the Holy Sacrament and at receiving the Holy Communion was so impressed by the presence of God that you noticed her tears and recollection.” “Mother had a special devotion to the Holy Sacrament, procuring all the functions of the Holy Sacrament with complete solemnity and fervor. From the beginning she made it possible that on the First Friday of the month our chapels had Solemn Exposition of the Holy Sacrament. In the Mother House, in addition to the First Friday, the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament was made in novenas and the festivals of Patron Saints, Saint Joseph, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Teresa .” “...she had the feast of Corpus Christi celebrated with great splendor. More than once, she surprised the sisters by praying on her knees before the Holy Sacrament with her arms crossed.” (Sum., p. 234, § 8) “This devotion never diminished, but continued steadily and increased in her final days, receiving communion daily while she was ill.” (Sum., p. 65, § 28) “While she was 13

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ill,” recalls Father Abate, “she listened to Mass from her cell which was near the chapel, and as I read the Holy Mass, in a rather low tone she let me know that she would like it very much if I read a little stronger so that she could hear me and better follow the succession of the various steps of the Mass.” (Sum., pp 44-45, § 3) Holy Jesus was the secret of her strength, peace and joy in the midst of suffering: “...Live Jesus in the Holy Sacrament; O Holy Eucharist from the sacred tabernacle as we all unite...” “Join together like lamps burning with a great desire to love Holy Jesus. There we will talk and encourage each other in his holy service.” Her faith in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is manifested in the splendor of worship and reverence for sacred things: “I had a great reverence for sacred things, for sacred vessels and ornaments and upon visiting our houses it was the first thing inspected to make sure that everything was in order and neat. I wanted us to take the same care for the honor of the chapel and religious ceremonies. We used to say that even though there was nothing for us, nothing should be absent from the chapel or worship.” (Sum., p. 109, § 23) “In the case of worship,” Father Guerrero witnesses, “no expense was spared, everything seemed little. The thought that the Lord had another altar, another shrine, another place of worship, another house of prayer, humility and sacrifice, filled her with joy.” One of her most serious concerns in the new foundations was leaving her daughters to the company of Holy Jesus: “... A religious house can be called Heaven because within it lives the treasure of Heaven and Earth which is Holy Jesus.” She often pondered the mysteries of the Passion of Christ: “She often chose those who noticed the goodness of God as a subject of meditation, and in particular those who related to the Passion of Lord Jesus Christ for which she has always had great devotion. On other occasions she took the pains of the Holy Virgin as an argument.” (Sum., p. 173, § 21) “We said we would habitually meditate on the Passion of Christ.” (Sum., p.61, § 18) “...By this, the road of the Holy Cross, the Saints and Divine Redeemer Jesus have gone to Heaven. None went through those eternal doors without carrying the seal of the Cross.” “Do not turn your eyes away from Christ and Christ crucified, from there, and only there, His strength will come to all of us; and never, no matter how overwhelmed by what we see, let us compare Jesus to Barabbas.” She was able to say with simplicity in her will: “Having lived in the loving afflictions of the Crucified Jesus and, by his grace, having embraced the Holy Tree of the Cross, I also would like to die nailed to Him...” In Camila, the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is intimately bound with devotion to the Lord’s Passion: “... I take refuge in the wounds of the Crucified Jesus, and find solace there. I also place them for you in the Sacred Heart. " D) Love for Mary 14

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