20131007 Life offered for mother 為母親奉上生命

Blessed Laura Vicu¤a was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1891. Her father died when she was only 2.
Laura’s mother, Mercedes Pino, was anxious to support herself and her two daughters. After working as a cook for several years in the Quilquihu‚ Hostel, the owner, Manuel Mora, promised Mercedes that if she came to live with him as his mistress he would send Laura to a boarding school.

Life at school
Laura went to a boarding school ran by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (the Salesian Sisters). She was very happy living under the care of the young missionary sisters.
She was taught a love for religion and began to take a deep interest in the Catholic faith. Laura was a model student and a leader who helped other students in many different ways. On June 2, 1901, Laura made her First Communion. She wrote, “Oh, my God, I want to love and serve you all my life.”
Even at a young age, Laura was mature enough to understand her mother’s problems. Though not married, Manuel and Mercedes were living together like a married couple. Laura knew that it was a sin.
Mercedes had been distanced from God because of Manuel. This motivated Laura to pray every day for her mother’s salvation, and to help her to leave Manuel. “I wish Mamma would know you better and be happy,” she often prayed before the tabernacle.
Laura spent most of her time praying, and some of her classmates shunned her piety. However Laura had one good friend, Mercedes Vera, to whom she expressed her deepest feelings, such as her desire to become a nun. Inspired by the Salesian Sisters, Laura hoped to consecrate herself to God in the service of her brothers and sisters.
As Laura grew older, Manuel turned his attention from Mercedes to her. During a Christmas vacation, Laura was beaten twice by Manuel because she refused his sexual advances and his attempts to dissuade her from becoming a nun. She was forced to flee the house to avoid him.
Manuel stopped paying for Laura’s education, but she held to her desire to become a nun. When the nuns at her school learned of the situation, they gave her a scholarship. With a grateful heart, Laura returned to school, but she was still deeply concerned about her mother.

Oblation of life
One day, remembering the phrase of Jesus: “No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends,” Laura decided to give her life in exchange for her mother’s salvation. Laura said to the Lord: “I offer you my life for that of my mother.”
Laura’s offer was accepted. In late 1903 Laura became seriously ill with pulmonary tuberculosis and returned to her mother. On Jan. 14, 1904, Laura refused the sexual advances of the drunken Manuel, who beat her unconscious. Though she recovered consciousness, Laura never recovered her health.
Before she died, Laura told her mother: “Mama, I offered my life for you; I asked our Lord for this. Before I die, mother, would I have the joy of seeing you repent?”
Mercedes tearfully answered, “I swear I will do whatever you ask me! God is the witness of my promise!”
Laura smiled and said: “Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Mary! Goodbye, Mother! Now I die happy!”
On Jan. 22, 1904, Laura died from a combination of the disease and the abuse.
Mercedes left Manuel and returned to the Catholic Church. On Sept. 3, 1988, Laura Vicu¤a was beatified by Pope John Paul II.

真福羅拉.韋恭納生於1891年智利的聖地牙哥;兩歲喪父,母親有意獨力撫養兩名女兒,卻在一間旅店任廚師數年後,成了旅店主人的情婦,以供養女兒在學校的寄宿和學費。

 

學校生活

 

羅拉進了「母佑會」修女辦的學校寄宿,受到年輕修女們的感染,除了心中愉快外,很喜愛自己的天主教信仰,且產生極濃厚的興趣。課堂內,羅拉是模範生,樂於幫助其他同學。

 

1901年6月2日,羅拉初領聖體。她寫道:「我主,我願意一生愛祢、侍奉祢!」年紀雖輕的羅拉,已明白母親與旅店主人同居是大罪,而母親確實因此而疏遠了天主。於是,她每天為母親的得救熱切祈禱,求天主幫助母親離開情夫。她常在聖體翕前祈禱:「主,我但願母親更認識祢,更愉快地過活。」

 

羅拉用了大部份時間祈禱,卻遭到一些同學竊竊私語。她曾對她一位好友透露棄俗修道的意願,只因到受「母佑會」修女們的影響,要把自己奉獻給天主,服務主內的兄弟姊妹。

 

羅拉長得亭亭玉立,引起母親情夫的垂涎。一次聖誕節放假返家,羅拉拒絕母親情夫猥褻的要求,並不肯放棄修道的志願,而兩次遭受母親的情夫毒打,遂被迫離家出走。母親的情夫停止供書教學;學校修女知悉其委,特別提供羅拉獎學金,羅拉得以繼續學業,心存感激之餘,仍關心母親靈魂的得救。

 

奉獻生命

 

一日,羅拉記起耶穌的一句話:「沒有比為別人而捨生的愛更大。」她決定把自己的生命奉獻,換取母親靈魂的得救。她向主說:「我為母親而奉獻我的生命。」

 

羅拉的奉獻獲得天主接納。1903年下旬,羅拉染上肺結核,離開學校,返回母親身旁。1904年1月14日,母親情夫帶醉向羅拉作出猥褻的要求,當然又一次遭到拒絕,他便毒打羅拉至不省人事。雖然羅拉後來清醒過來,但健康日益惡化。

 

羅拉死前向母親剖白:「媽媽,我為妳向天主奉獻出我的生命。妳可否痛悔改過,讓我愉快地死去?」母親含淚答應,說:「我發誓,我會答應你任何要求,有天主見證!」羅拉微笑地說:「多謝耶穌!多謝聖母!再見了,母親!我現在可以安心地死去。」1904年1月22日,羅拉因肺病和傷患,離開人間。

 

羅拉母親遵守對女兒的諾言,離開了情夫,重新投入天主教會。1988年9月3日,教宗若望保祿二世,把羅拉.韋恭納尊為真福貞女。

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