First Colombian Saint: Maria Laura Montoya Upeghi

"The second thought we can draw from the words of Jesus that we have heard in the Gospel: "I pray for those who believe in me through their word: that all may be one; as you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us" (John 17:20). St. Maria Laura Montoya was an instrument of evangelization first as a teacher and then as a spiritual mother of the indigenous people, to whom she gave hope, welcoming them with God's love and bringing them to him through an effective pedagogy that respected their culture and did not oppose it. In her work of evangelization Mother Laura truly made herself all things to all, according to the expression of St. Paul (cf. 1 Cor. 9:22). Today too her spiritual daughters live and bring the Gospel to the most obscure and needy places, as a kind of vanguard of the Church.

This first saint, born in the beautiful country of Colombia, teaches us to be generous with God, not to live our faith alone – as if it were possible to live the faith in an isolate way – but to communicate it, to convey the joy of the Gospel with words and the witness of life in every place in which we find ourselves. Wherever we live let us let this light of the Gospel shine! She teaches us to see the face of Jesus reflected in the other, to overcome indifference and individualism, which corrode Christian communities and corrode our heart, and she teaches us to welcome all without prejudice, without discrimination, without reticence, with sincere love, giving them the best of ourselves and above all sharing with them what is most precious to us, which is not our works or our organizations, no! Our most precious possession is Christ and his Gospel."

Pope Francis


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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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