MOTHER TRINIDAD CARRERAS HITOS CAUSE OF CANONISATION
Our life and works are clear signs of our being, of our ideal of life, of the orientation of our heart. What can we say about the woman who makes God's will her reason for living? What can we say about her unconditional surrender to God's plans according to the Church's guidelines? That this was shaped right from birth, that "Grace" is not sterile, and it was not sterile in her. If you take a look at Mother Trinidad's writings, it is hard to know what to admire more: the candour of her childhood, or the impressive strong will in her youth, the fearlessness and faith in her mature years, or the serenity of her old age. All these aspects blended harmoniously in her life and defined her, which is worthy of admiration and encouragement in our lives.
MOTHER TRINIDAD, DIFFERENT MOMENTS IN HER LIFE.
EGAYOV • 3 EGAP
YOU WILL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS
Mercedes Carreras Hitos was born in Monachil, a small village in the mountains of Granada, on 28th January 1879. Two days later, she was baptised in the parish church, following the Christian custom of baptising children shortly after birth. She had a peaceful and happy childhood, in an atmosphere of serenity and joy, with a deeply Christian upbringing. Mercedes was known for her lively and impetuous character; her dynamism and creativity would be present in many moments of her life, but at the same time her serenity and good judgement were striking, even in her early years.
PARISH CHURCH AND BAPTISMAL FONT, MONACHIL.
FAMILY ENVIRONMENT 3
She was born in a period of social tranquillity and religious tolerance. Her family was exemplary and deeply Christian, "the Levitical Hitos Linares family", as locals called her maternal grandparents, thus emphasising their great religiosity. Mercedes described her mother as a priest in the family, and when referring to her family environment she would say:
"God was feared in that home and I never saw any sin.” Mercedes had a younger sister called Pepita and five brothers, two older and three younger, a large family that surrounded her and shaped her personality in her early years. The influence of her grandmother was very noticeable, especially following her mother's death.
MOTHER, FATHER AND MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER.
As a very young girl, she was confirmed at the feast of the Ascension. From then on, her mother devoted herself to preparing her two young daughters for their First Holy Communion. It was on the day of Pentecost 1886 that she encountered Jesus for the first time. Mercedes told stories that demonstrated what the Eucharist meant to her. One day, while showing her little sister a firefly, she told her mother:
"I want to be like this little worm on the tabernacle key so that all the children come and find me, I take them inside and tell them how much Jesus loves them."
MERCEDES AT HER FIRST HOLY COMMUNION.
TOWARDS THE EUCHARIST
Mercedes' encounter with God was decisive in her life and left an everlasting mark on her. She devoted herself with all her strength to the Eucharist and to bringing many souls to God.
Her budding ideal? What is certain is that she motivated other children by giving them chocolates that she took from her mother to take to catechism classes, to the Eucharist. To bring souls to the Eucharist, the innocent souls of children, before they were stained by sin. To bring everyone closer to the Eucharist so that Jesus may be adored and loved in the Sacrament of the altar.
CHANGE OF 5 DIRECTION In June 1887, her mother, Mrs. Filomena, gave birth, and a month later she died.
Knowing that her death was approaching, she gathered her children together and, pointing to a picture of Our Lady of Sorrows, she said to them: "I am not leaving you orphans. From now on, she will be your Mother and will take care of you."
OUR LADY OF SORROWS: ACCOMPANIED THE MOTHER'S LAST MOMENTS, TODAY SHE RESTS ON HER GRAVE.
Mercedes was just eight years old, but she would never forget this experience and, after her love for the Eucharist, there was nothing as important in her life as her love for Our Lady of Sorrows. She would always be her Mother and Abbess, and her image would accompany her throughout her life. The father and grandmother decided to send Mercedes and Pepita to a school to be educated. They chose Santa Inés de Granada school, run by the Poor Clares. Mercedes arrived at the school on her 9th birthday, on 28th January 1888. Mercedes stood out for her seriousness and maturity, but what was most striking about her was the irresistible force with which she was attracted to the Eucharist. In her innocence, she thought that this was the case for all her classmates. After some time, her father remarried. Mercedes, aged 10, suffered and wanted to take over the family home, but was unable to do so. In the meantime, her religious life increased, she frequently went to the tabernacle, she was being "seduced" by Jesus.
At 14 years old, she returned to Monachil where she lived with her maternal grandparents, matured her vocation and decided to become a Capuchin nun.
CAPUCHIN NUN 6 IN SAN ANTÓN Her father asked her to wait until she was older, due to the austerity of the Order and her youth, but she was determined and told her father:
"I want to join someone who won't forget me as quickly as you forgot mum". She joined the San Antón Convent on 28th July 1893, given her desire for a contemplative and penitential life. From the outset, she kept the austerities of the Rule and devoted herself to prayer.
SAN ANTÓN CONVENT’S CHURCH AND COMMUNITY.
"As I had no companions and the Mother saw my eagerness to live with the Eucharist, my life and soul, she granted me an Abbess to go whenever I wished, day or night, to a gallery full of furniture." From the very beginning she was strongly devoted to becoming a saint. However, the community did not like the candidate; they feared for her health and considered her serious and withdrawn character a problem. They did everything they could to get her to return home, especially her grandmother and her aunt, the latter a nun at San Antón, even withdrawing her dowry. Mercedes prayed, seeking God's will, as she always would. Three years later, a dowry arrived from the Marquise of Blanco Hermoso for a candidate, and the community, convinced of her strong vocation, granted her the dowry.
On 21st November 1896, at the Feast of the Presentation of Mary, she took the habit and received the name of Sister Trinidad of the Purest Heart of Mary.
THE DAY SHE TOOK THE HABIT.
She spent her novitiate in a haven of peace, expanding her knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and some mystical authors, especially St. John of the Cross. She followed her community in everything, in her work, in the religious practices and in her penance. She made her religious vows on 26th November 1897. Having made her vows, Sister Trinidad experienced some difficulties; reactions typical of her impetuous character, she tried to correct herself and to be humble. Long hours of prayer tempered her spirit and she expressed it as follows:
"The Lord did all this because I was arrogant and had a very strong temper, prone to becoming impatient, and I felt angry.... The discomfort of living with so many old and sick women, and the thought that it would never change, often tormented me. Full of mercy and love, Jesus said to me: "I want you to learn my example with the sick, the unfortunate and the uneducated, they are all my brothers and sisters. Learn the humility and gentleness of my Heart... ."
“My Lord: how do you deign to love me so strongly that I would fly to China, Africa and Japan to tell my brothers and sisters about your inexplicable kindnesses?
How many times have I felt that God lit up my heart and said to me, "Bring me souls, many souls to adore Me"?” SISTER TRINIDAD ABBESS IN SAN ANTÓN.
This and other experiences made her consider some transformations in Capuchin convents and an Abbess General like the Capuchins had. However, her main desire was the Eucharist: to establish perpetual adoration and participation in Holy Communion, to bring souls to Jesus the Host. This longing grew incessantly and she prayed:
MOTHER TRINIDAD CAPUCHINA AND ONE OF HER FOUNDING JOURNEYS.
What could she do? The more she prayed, the louder she heard Jesus’ voice encouraging her: “Bring me souls, I need souls.” One day, at Communion, she heard Jesus' voice more clearly: “I want you to seek to enclose the Tabernacle of souls, devoted to adore me in this Sacrament of Love that I created for the comfort and life of souls.” She began to spread her enthusiasm for the Eucharist and the idea of requesting Perpetual Adoration among the nuns, but to no avail. She was still a young, professed nun, but the axes that would govern her life were already becoming clear.
I II III
Incessant search for God's will, dominating her, in the conviction that Providence directs our lives. Desire to establish Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist and to bring souls to adore God. Desire to achieve a new structure: common novitiate and a Superior General to avoid practical difficulties in the convents.
THE DIVINE INSISTENCE
The seriousness of her remarkable Eucharistic piety, her loving devotion to the neediest, her strict observance and the provident hand of God directing all happenings, led the community, despite having rejected her approach, to elect her abbess at the age of 29, on 16th July 1908. Some priest counsellors who knew of her restlessness encouraged her to reform San Antón. However, the Mother prudently forgot about it in her first three years. In March 1912, the 7th Centenary of the foundation of the Capuchin Sisters by St. Clare was celebrated. Mother Trinidad recalled it in her writings:
“Then, we, Sisters of the soul, felt that Jesus wanted to be adored by the souls of all the Communities. Some Sisters asked me: Would the Seraphic Mother St. Clare have wanted to let a spark of love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament fall in our souls, so that we may be the first to devote ourselves to Adoration?"
“I am ready for whatever the Lord wants of me; TO GIVE MY LIFE FOR HIS LOVE AND GLORY.”
From 19th to 20th March 1912, during the celebration of the 7th Centenary, after receiving Communion, Mother Trinidad had a vision: “St. Francis brought her to the altar, before the Virgin Mary, and kneeling at her feet, they dressed her in a very dark red tunic, girded her with a white cord, and St. Clare placed the first Rule on her head, and the Virgin, placing a monstrance on the Rule, said to her: "My daughter, bring many burning hearts to adore my Son in spirit and truth....” She explained her vision, always seeking God's will, but when faced with further rejection, she channelled her efforts into serving the Community. However, God came to her again with a serious illness, during which the anointing of the sick was administered to her. On her sickbed she saw Jesus and heard him again:
“What have you done with the talents entrusted to you, are you afraid to suffer for me?” She was cured of her illness, but became so weak that she had to give up her responsibility as abbess by medical prescription. In 1916, a new breath of the Spirit refreshed her old desires for Eucharistic adoration: The Lord showed her a convent of Capuchin Adorers, but it was not San Antón, and she understood that he was asking for a foundation elsewhere. In 1920, when Mother Trinidad was 41 years old, she was elected abbess again, and it was at this time that she had the idea of taking in young girls to educate them and bring them closer to the Eucharist.
At the beginning of 1921, the Bishop of Almería, Mr. Vicente Casanova Marzol, was appointed Archbishop of Granada. He visited Mother Trinidad and encouraged her to go ahead to get the nuns of San Antón to accept Perpetual Adoration. "I have read a request submitted by you for Perpetual Adoration of Jesus in the Eucharist in this Church. Do you have everyone’s approval? Put it to a vote.” Mr. Vincente Casanova Marzol.
Although the community's affection for her was immense, they felt that Perpetual Adoration would be a heavy burden, difficult to bear. It was then that the archbishop suggested she leave: "You can't pour new wine into old wineskins", he told her. He then
suggested that she draw up the Constitutions, with Perpetual Adoration and admission of girls for education.
CHAUCHINA 10 (GRENADE) On 2nd December 1923, she requested authorisation from the Holy See to found a convent in Chauchina. The answer came the following 27th December. On 24th April 1924, the first stone of the new foundation was laid, and in March 1925, the work was completed to house the twelve nuns who were to constitute the first Community of Capuchin Adorers. The date of the foundation was set for 11th April 1925. The Archbishop accepted the resignation of Mother Trinidad as abbess in San Antón and the new abbess was appointed. Without delay and with the blessing she left for her new assignment. It was Holy Saturday.
COMMUNITY OF CHAUCHINA, LED BY MOTHER TRINIDAD.
Mother Trinidad expressed her feelings as follows:
“It is the Lord who prevails and commands me to leave... I asked him before the Tabernacle: Let me be crushed under these walls before I take a step that is not your will, my Jesus. God knows that the last glance at Our Lady of Sorrows gave me courage and energy.... I am ready to do whatever the Lord wants of me, to give my life for his love and glory.”
The year 1930 arrived. The community had grown and Cardinal Casanova proposed a new foundation in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Gádor, in Berja - Almería, which belonged to the Diocese of Granada at that time. What this same man of God had said to her in San Antón was coming true: "And then we will go to the shrines of Our Lady, who appears to want to be the Mother and Teacher of these foundations around the world." The Virgin of Gádor hermitage stands on the slopes of the mountain range bearing the same name. The Virgin wanted her son to have another throne of adoration there. Authorisation was requested from the Holy See, which was granted on 5th February 1930, and, on 24th September of the same year, the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, the works were inaugurated and the community was transferred. Fifteen nuns, led by Mother Trinidad, travelled the road from Chauchina to Berja, after happily and unselfishly distributing the goods they had.
COMMUNITY OF BERJA WITH MOTHER TRINIDAD.
With regards to the new direction she wanted to take in her communities, the wishes of the Foundress were fulfilled: I.Adoration of Jesus in the Eucharist II.Joint novitiate III.A General Superior Charisma was being defined. The mind and intentions of Mother Trinidad, as well as the historical circumstances and the directives given by the ecclesiastical authority, marked the spirit of the Congregation. The dedication to the teaching of children and young people, the self-denial, simplicity and poverty inherited from St. Clare and her Rule, along with the strong and profound spirit of adoration of the Holy Sacrament, were the distinctive features.
The sisters could dedicate themselves to other apostolic works if they were needed in the different dioceses, especially in mission lands. The name of the Congregation left no doubt about its Eucharistic, Marian and Franciscan roots: SLAVES OF THE BLESSED EUCHARIST AND THE MOTHER OF GOD.
CURRENT SCHOOL, HERMITAGE AND SIZE OF OUR LADY OF GADOR.
It was 1931 and Spain was going through turbulent times, both socially and politically, marked by a strong hatred of religion. Sensing danger, Mother Trinidad thought it was time to seek refuge in a safe place, even if it was abroad. Well-wishers offered her a foundation in Paris. She and two nuns set off for the new foundation, far away, with their trust in God and 2,000 pesetas. On 22nd June 1933, during her visit to Mr. Nuncio, the future Cardinal Tedeschini, and following his advice, she changed her route to Portugal. She left for her new destination on 31st July 1933 and she received authorisation to found in Braga on 22nd December of the same year.
TRAVEL TICKETS AND PICTURE OF ST. FRANCIS OWNED BY MOTHER TRINIDAD.
The work founded by Mother Trinidad was progressing with all kinds of difficulties, but charity reigned in the communities, vocations flourished and spiritual enthusiasm was high. The Mother sought God's will, she lived by her faith, exuding a Franciscan spirit of simplicity, abnegation and surrender to her love for God. Her work needed to be given a legal structure. Father Isacio Morán, a Jesuit priest in Braga, helped her to do so. He prepared the documentation that was sent to the Sacred Congregation of Religious requesting approval.
She envisaged a religious Order, convents with Perpetual Adoration and governed by a Superior General.
SECULAR MOTHER TRINIDAD DURING THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR.
The Holy See considered it more convenient for it to be a congregation of mixed life. The communities would combine a life of contemplation and Eucharistic Adoration with an active life, dedicating themselves to apostolic works through teaching, catechesis.... With this structure, it was more likely to be approved.
The Mother had doubts: Should she accept this new structure or return to her peaceful place in San Antón? In November 1935 she visited Rome and asked the Spanish Penitentiary Father Esteban Marcos for advice.
"Before Father Marcos, I made a general confession of my whole life and gave him an account of the work I had been doing there, the years I had been working on it with the support of the bishops and confessors. Father Marcos listened to me patiently, and when I finished he said to me: Offer your work to Jesus and move on.... It is your work." The confessor advised her to visit the tombs of St. Francis and St. Clare in Assisi, and there, in front of the incorrupt body of the disciple of the poor man of Assisi, she understood that it was God's will to accept the new structure that was being proposed to her.
“At the foot of the High Altar, after three hours of praying, I asked him to tell me Lord's will... Then I understood that Jesus wanted us in that transformation of life.... In Assisi the veil was lifted, and, in acceptance, I said to Him: Let it be done, my Lord and my God... we offer ourselves unconditionally to You forever...”
On 31st October 1942 they received "AD EXPERIMENTUM" APPROVAL for seven years. In 1947, she travelled to Rome to push for the final approval of the Constitutions. She asked for and obtained a hearing with H.H. Pius XII, to whom she explained her concerns, took the opportunity to reaffirm her love for Christ and his Church, and asked him for a few words for her Institute. The Pope raised his arms and looking up to heaven said: "Much inner life and much love for the Church". On 10th January 1949 they received FINAL APPROVAL.
After accepting God's will in Assisi, she entered a time of frequent illnesses, but of great spiritual joy. In just 15 years she saw how her work was strengthened and expanded. - Chauchina: it broke away from the work, remaining an autonomous convent with Perpetual Adoration. - Berja: 1930 first house of the Congregation. - Braga: 1934 First Novitiate. - Porto: 1936 - Orense: 1937 - Granada: 1939 - Laveiras: 1942 - Lisbon: 1943 - Madrid: 1944 (c/ Bueso Pineda) Spanish Novitiate. - Bilbao: 1945 - Formia: it moved to Rome in 1947 and closed in 1954. - Madrid: 1947 (c/ D. Ramón de la Cruz) Mother Trinidad died here. - Mexico: 1948 - Viana do Alentejo: 1949 her last foundations. Like the foundation in Mexico, she was unable to attend due to health problems.
The foundations' approach is always the same: they all pose a challenge to Providence due to the scarcity of resources, the socio-political and economic situation. They lived with many hardships, but the older members remember this time as being particularly happy and of great charity, the fruit of the fire received in the Eucharist. Vocations were abundant. From the first foundations they began to collect girls from needy families whom they tried to educate according to the social demands of the time. In addition to the alms they received, they supported themselves by doing embroidery work.
MOTHER TRINIDAD HAS THREE LOVES: THE EUCHARIST, THE VIRGIN AND CHILDREN.
On the way to the San Justo cemetery in Madrid, surrounding the procession of daughters and relatives who slowly walked through the streets carrying Mother Trinidad’s coffin, a common sentiment could be heard: A holy Mother has died. Months earlier, at the end of 1948, the cancer from which she was suffering had immobilised her at her house on Calle D. Ramón de la Cruz (Madrid). Looking back, her work was consolidating, and recalling her memories, she said:
“I feel my heart burn within me, and my soul is filled with love when I see a chorus of adoring souls around Jesus. My whole being experiences such inexplicable pleasure, joy and happiness... I have a burning desire that you do with Jesus in the Eucharist what I was not able to do: the sublime mission of adoration and love, bringing many souls to Him. May He be our glory and reward in heaven!” On 14th April, Holy Thursday, she received Communion for the last time, and on Good Friday, linked by the Passion of Christ, she died.
SISTERS IN ADORATION AND AT HER GRAVE.
She left a trail of holiness behind; her love for the Eucharist had led her to the heights of detachment from herself, to have no other will but that of God. Thirteen years after her death, on 11th April 1962, her body, which was discovered incorrupt, was transferred to the General House of the Congregation, to the company of her daughters, at the feet of Jesus in the Eucharist, where she had always wanted to spend eternity. Her presence encourages them, she seems to say: Let us not forget that we go out on God's command, to gather the souls of children and young people, to break our bread with them and to teach them goodness. MOTHER TRINIDAD RECEIVING THE ANOINTING OF THE SICK, FUNERAL CHAPEL AND BURIAL CARRIED BY HER DAUGHTERS.
A commission was appointed to take statements from witnesses (secular, clergy and religious), in addition to receiving many written testimonies. After completing this first part, the date for the official opening was set for 28th January 1991, the anniversary of her birth. In a solemn ceremony, within the framework of the Eucharistic Celebration, the beginning of the process that marked the end of a phase took place. That same year, Father Aisa Goñi died. Father Crescencio Palomo O. P. was appointed in his place. After several years of detailed studies of Mother Trinidad’s writings, collecting documents, visiting her places of origin and life, the houses of the Congregation and speaking with many people who knew her, Father Palomo, with the approval of the corresponding authorities, finished the diocesan phase in Madrid. This phase involved the collection of evidence and the study of the virtues of Mother Trinidad.
PHOTOS OF THE CLOSURE OF THE DIOCESAN PROCESS.
DETAIL OF THE ALTAR MADE BY THE MOTHER AND ST. FRANCIS FROM SAN ANTÓN.
On 4th October 2008, during the feast of St. Francis, the Delegation for the Causes of Saints of the Archbishopric of Madrid concluded the Diocesan Process of Beatification and Canonisation, and all the documents of the cause were taken to the Vatican City. Once there, and after review, the Decree of Validity was issued, recognising the veracity of all documents submitted. In March 2018, Father José Jaime Brosel was appointed rapporteur, who was responsible for accompanying the work that the Congregation was doing in the elaboration of the "Positio". This consists of the presentation of a document containing no more than 500 pages, demonstrating the reasons why Mother Trinidad is considered to have heroically lived the virtues to be recognised by the Church. This is a fundamental step in the Beatification Process. From then on, she would receive the rank of Venerable.
In order for Mother Trinidad to be recognised as a saint, it is necessary that a miracle performed through her intercession be confirmed. When this happens, she would be declared blessed, and if a second miracle is demonstrated, she would be declared a saint. There is great hope that she will soon be beatified, since everything we know of Mother Trinidad's life speaks of a faithful woman deeply in love with the Lord. She stood out due to her humility and her unconditional desire to adore Him in the Sacrament of the Eucharist and to fulfil always and in everything, the will of God, something which, on her deathbed, she recommended to her nuns.
PERSONALISED ROTATING TABERNACLE ORDERED BY THE MOTHER FOR EUCHARISTIC ADORATION. SCULPTURE OF MOTHER TRINIDAD IN THE GENERAL HOUSE.
SPAIN PORTUGAL ANGOLA BENIN TIMOR LESTE CAPE VERDE MEXICO VENEZUELA PERU
Today Mother Trinidad’s daughters, following the inspiration that God gave to their foundress, have extended the Eucharistic Reign of Jesus to 9 countries on 4 continents. Through their apostolic works, they want to bring souls closer to Jesus, to surround their Tabernacle of love with these souls.
Bueso Pineda, 21 – 28043 Madrid – Spain Telephone: (+34) 91 415 05 94 www.madretrinidadcarreras.com firstname.lastname@example.org Text: Sister Begoña Naberán - Edited by: Católicos por tu WEB