Thursday, August 12, 2010

Memorial of Bl Victoria Diez

"Bl Victoria Diez y Bustos de Molina was born on 11 November 1903 in Seville, Spain. She was the only child of a deeply Christian family of modest means. To satisfy her parents' wishes she studied to become a teacher, while at the same time attending art classes at the School of Arts and Crafts in Seville. She had many fine human qualities, artistic talent and, above all, a deep faith that was expressed in an intense spiritual life. Early on she felt drawn to making a radical commitment to God and to her brothers and sisters.

In Seville she came to know the Teresian Association founded by Fr Pedro Poveda and she realized that there she could join her desire for holiness and apostolic activity to the teaching profession. For Victoria this was clearly the path the Lord wanted her to take and so she began her formation as a Teresian.

Her first teaching assignment was at Cheles, a small town near the Portuguese border. A year later she asked to be transferred to a place closer to Seville, where her father worked, so that she could help her family. The new assignment was to Hornachuelos. There she lived and taught until her death in August 1936.

The testimony given about her life and work in those years shows her to be a competent and dedicated teacher who gave wholehearted support to the parish priest in all the tasks of evangelization: Catholic Action, catechesis, the Eucharistic apostolate, adult education, etc. There is also abundant evidence of her charity, especially towards the neediest children in the class, a charity that caused admiration, since it was apparent to everyone that her financial means were very limited. Obviously, she did without necessities in order to give to others.

Throughout these years Victoria lived in profound communion with the Teresian Association, from whose founder she directly received inspiration and formation for living her vocation. The secret of her apostolate was her closeness to God: "Praying before the Blessed Sacrament I find strength, courage, light and all the love I need to help those entrusted to me on the way of salvation".

The difficult circumstances that arose in 1936 at the start of the Spanish Civil War led to an open attack on the Church in Hornachuelos. At nightfall on 11 August, Victoria was taken to the town hall and later to a house set up as a prison. She remained calm, quiet and prayerful. At daybreak the blessed and 17 others suffered a violent death in the abandoned mine shaft of Rincon. The witnesses present remembered the words of encouragement Victoria gave to everyone: "Come on, our reward is waiting for us!". Her final words were "Long live Christ the King!"."

-- Biography from EWTN

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