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(1803 - 1842)

OLOT – MAY 2014 – No. 33

Drawing by J. Casas Sargatal

News Bulletin regarding the Canonization Cause of Venerable LLIBERADA FERRARONS I VIVÉS, Carmelite Tertiary, model of young workers.

SAINTLY PATIENCE Lliberada’s head doctor, Dr. Rafel Prat, was the main witness to her physical suffering, as he tended to her for twenty years. He stated that when he started to visit her, he detected a hard tumour in the area of her liver, causing soreness and pain to the point that the girl was occasionally forced to spend eight to ten days at a stretch in bed, finally ending up bed-bound for thirteen years. Dr. Prat described Lliberada’s illness and the severe pain caused thereby in realistic detail: vomiting, fever, headaches, toothaches, coughing fits, lipothymia, fainting spells... Dr. Gelabert, who met Lliberada after she had been bed-ridden for a few years, also said that he had never seen anyone with such strange, long-term afflictions, which cannot usually be endured with natural means. And he himself was struck by Lliberada’s testimony, which inspired his compassion. Gelabert speaks of a “monstrous liver” resulting from the obstructed and probably cancer-riddled organ. He adds: “Lliberada had spent three years and three months in the same position in bed, lying on her right side, as she was not able to change posture given the enormous weight of her liver”. Even so, it appears that she was not affected by gangrene and that there were no unpleasant odours in her room. Dr. Salvi Llorens only visited Lliberada once, but his testimony confirms the opinions of other doctors, both as regards the diagnosis of her illness and the moral stature of the patient. Virtually all witnesses who refer to the illnesses and suffering of the Servant of God also talk about her unique patience and total conformity with God’s will. The first people to show their admiration were the doctors who treated her. Both Prat and Gelabert confessed that they went to see her not only to treat her and alleviate her pain, but also for themselves, to find couragement and consolation. Dr. Rafel Prat said: “In the midst of such suffering, in the midst of so many travails, of her trials and miseries, I never heard a word of impatience or desolation pass her lips, never an imprecation and certainly no despair; on the contrary, she always had a kind,

Drawing by Modest Fluvià

consoling word, bringing compassion and tenderness to even the hardest heart. On numerous occasions she consoled me in my sadness or hardships, and it was not infrequent for me to go and see her simply to spend time with her, especially if I was anxious about something. And I always came away consoled”. Doctor Jeroni Gelabert had a similar experience. He considered Lliberada to be a very special patient and that medicine could do little for her. “Even so –he stated– I continued to visit her with my family and she happily gave us the most healthy advice, comforting us with her beautiful doctrines. That, in addition to her illness, is why we visited her frequently”. Later on he said: “I continued to visit her at her new house; she appreciated it greatly, always with those lovely words (which could only be heard by bending one’s ear close): May God bless you and all your family. And then with tears of appreciation in her eyes she would say goodbye. The poverty in which her family was immersed was great, but despite her various difficulties her patience was inalterable”. Many other witnesses, such as Joan Calvó, Joan Torner, a workmate of Lliberada’s and subsequently a priest, Mateu Casademunt, who visited her as a seminary student, Mariana Morat, Francesca Llorens, the Capuchin monk Father Àngel Casas, vicar of Olot, and her spiritual guides all underscore her patience in illness, a virtue that can be said to characterise Lliberada, bringing her heroic nature into even clearer focus.

“The extreme greatness of Christianity –said Simone Weil– lies in the fact that it does not seek a supernatural cure for suffering, but a supernatural use for it”. Text extracted from Section 3, Chapter 4 of the book: “Lliberada Ferrarons, una fe sempre jove” (Trans: “Lliberada Ferrarons, a faith forever young”) from Fr. Miquel Àngel Ferrés i Fluvià Barcelona, 2006, Ed. CPL

JOSEP GELABERT I VALL (1831-1907) “He was a short old man, with long and white sideburns, a very friendly and very devoted man”. This is reminded and written by Mr. Joaquim Danés i Torras in “Història d’Olot. Biografies” (“Olot History. Biographies”). Josep Gelabert i Vall was born on may 25th of 1831. He was the fifth child of Jeroni Gelabert i Plana and of Caterina, from Lleida. Jeroni Gelabert i Plana (Olot, 1793- 1870), surgeon, met Lliberada Ferrarons i Vivés (18031842) in 1834, some years after she started laying on the bed because of her illness. He met her when she was living in St. Bernat street, and continued visiting her after moving to La Mosca street, inside the walls of the village because of the war, and where strangely enough she could arrive alive due to her extreme prostration. Mr. Jeroni Gelabert visited her together with his family, not only to ease her from her pains but to receive from her helpful advice and rich knowledge. Before her death, Lliberada gave Mr. Jeroni a “Prayer notebook” as a present where at the top was written: “És de Liberata The house where Lliberada was born Ferrarons, Donzella – Any 1821” (Trans: “From and passed away (on the 3rd floor on Liberata Ferrerons, Maidservant - Year 1821”). Lliberada Ferrarons St. n. 11). A plaque reminds this. When Lliberada Ferrarons i Vivés died, Josep Gelabert was an eleven-year-old boy, therefore, he had seen and personally met her and had heard a lot of things directly told from his father. This encouraged him to work all his life with the purpose to make possible that she was well known and highly appreciated. Observing a respectful and saintly memory of Lliberada, he didn’t stop until he succeeded in buying the house where she had lived during her last years before passing away. He bought it from Girona’s Curia, by through the intercession of General Vicar, Dr. Pineda, thanks to the recommendation of the by then Rector of Sant Joan les Fonts, Fr. Joan Vergés Viñas, who was the Procurator. In the deed of the sale it was stated that the house was sold to Mr. Josep Gelabert on may 13th of 1891. Mr. Josep Gelabert wanted to transform the room where Lliberada died into a Public Oratory, exhibiting objects that had belonged to Lliberada: among others, there was a crucifix, a Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross), various holy cards and goigs (“goig” in

catalan language literally means “joy”; “goigs” are poetical compositions praising to the Virgin or a Saint) . Mr. J. Gelabert also wished to place there a painting of big dimensions and ordered to the well-known artist Marià Vayreda to paint it: the painting reproduced a drawing done in front of the mourning bed by the architect Anton Masmitjà, brother of Lliberada’s Spiritual Director, Fr. Joaquim Masmitjà. Mr. Gelabert’s enthusiasm kept going and he didn’t stop until he could collect several objects used by Lliberada and which Dr. Masmitjà kept as devotional memories. All of

Display case where the Badia brothers keep objects from Lliberada’s apartment where she died.

these objects were given to the Missionaries of the Heart of Mary from Olot when his brother Anton died. The General Superior of this Congregation, Revd. M. Anna Subirana (who, as a native from Olot, had a great knowledge of the zeal, the works and the enthusiasm of patrician Gelabert in order to promote the inception of the Cause for Lliberada’s Beatification), offered him a considerable part of these objects. Mr. Gelabert, with good judgment, placed all of these objects in a picture-like reliquary and they are the following: a big part of a folded bed sheet (which is the white background part and held by ribbons), a small wooden cross (with many iron sharp ends to be used as cilice for mortification), two spoons (one of them of wood, which she ate with, and the other one of ivory, which was used to drink water from the ablutions after having received Communion); in the middle Picture-like reliquary.

The niche at crypt n.1 on Santa Marta St. in Olot’s cemetery.

there is the candle of El Roser held by her in her moments of agony and a ribbon of the blessed mystery of Sant Joan de les Abadesses, and, in the lower part, two air purifiers (which probably had been in use in the ceremony of the Eucharistic Communion, used as a towel to wipe the ciborium and fingers of the priest). There is also a handful of candles and some few cloths. It was also Mr. Josep Gelabert i Vall’s idea, with the help of the Rector Dr. Esteve Ferrer i Casadevall, Archpriest of Olot for 40 years, the idea of devoting to Lliberada the first of the new crypts that were being made in the cemetery, back then in process of renovation and expansion; and, at the same time, to gather into a single and more worthy shrine the remains of the three Ferrarons sisters and thus prevent other transfers. Thus, on 15th February 1898, in Olot’s cemetery, they removed the remains of Lliberada Ferrarons to niche No. 2 of the crypt No. 1 of Santa Marta street and, a few days before, the same with her sisters Felisa and Agnès Ferrarons to niche No. 3. All these acts confirm that, at the end of the 19th century, the fame of Holiness of the Venerable Lliberada Ferrarons was kept well alive. Mr. Josep Gelabert i Vall died on October 2, 1907. When he died, he lived in an apartment on Clivillers street. His heirs of trust were Mr. Nonito Escubós i Serrat-Calvó and Mr. Josep Berga i Boix. These executors, on 8th May 1921 sold the House on Mosca Street, No. 11, to Ms. Maria Homs i Sala, widow of Mr. Francesc Badia. On account of the cost of the House were to pay the maid who was at Mr. Josep Gelabert’s service (and whose name was Rosa Roca i Vergés), the amount of three thousand pesetas, as a balance of the past due payments still owed for her services. This House, back then (today, after the name change, C/ Lliberada Ferrarons, No. 11), was inherited by Joaquima Badia Homs, afterwards by Joaquim Badia i Casadevall, then by the brothers Joaquim and Joan Badia i Trias and these went to Bassols Energia in 2004. With regards to Marià Vayreda i Vila painting, representing Lliberada, we know it’s a fabric of 139cm long by 58 cm wide, which bears the signature and the year: Mariano Vayreda. Olot, 1874. It was then owned by the painter Berga i Boix, and then inherited

Oil painting by Marià Vayreda.

by Concepció Berga who later on sold it because of financial needs to Mr. Francisco Mas Cisa (who in 1958 was still the owner). In 1963 we can see in the “ Relación y crítica de los documentos de la Causa de Beatificación de la Sierva de Dios Librada Ferrarons Vivés, doncella, obrera, natural de Olot, presentadas por la COMISIÓN HISTÒRICA de dicha Causa” (Trans. from Spanish: “List and review over the Beatification Cause of the Servant of God Librada Ferrarons Vivés, a maid and worker from Olot, presented by the HISTORICAL COMMISSION of said Cause”) (Diocese of Girona, November 9, 1963), a note which ends by saying: “En la actualidad el poseedor del cuadro lo ofrece por la exorbitante cantidad de 50.000 ptas.” (Trans. from Spanish: “At the present moment, the owner of the painting offers for an extraordinary amount of 50,000 pesetas”). During 2005-06 some investigations were carried out and thanks to Mr. Lluís Esteve from Girona we knew that he had seen this painting in Barcelona at the home of a relative of his, Mr. Francisco Mas Cisa, and he had heard him say: “this painting will not be searched for because of its signature but because of its great value, since it represents a saint woman”. Mr. Francisco Mas’ son, according to his wife’s explanations, took the painting to a friend’s house to keep it


Miquel Àngel Ferrés i Fluvià This recent biography captures the life and virtues of this young Catalan worker with a present-day language, which gracefully unifies her history with people’s presentday life. The reader is placed in front of the simplicity of the faith of a young woman who lived in poverty and illness. It’s a catechetical book that pretends to capture the essence of Christian spirituality. At the same time, it’s another opportunity to get to know and love someone who many consider a saint.Centre Pastoral Litú / 220 pages

You can find it at: Diocesan Bookstore Casa Carles of Girona, and in other specialized bookstores

safe. Mr. Francisco’s son died of an accident and it is not known where or to whom the painting was left. Despite the subsequent investigations carried out, the location of this picture still remains unknown. With regards to the pious books that Lliberada gave to the surgeon Jeroni Gelabert, they were carefully taken cared of by his son Josep Gelabert. On his death, they were kept by his maid, Mrs. Rosa Roca i Vergés, who handed them over to Fr. Domingo Balcells in order to write Lliberada’s biography. When he died, these were kept by his sister and she handed them over to the Historic Commission for the Beatification Cause of Lliberada on 9th August 1943. At the present time they are kept at Girona’s diocese chancery. BIBLIOGRAPHY: 1. Danés i Torras, Joaquim “Història d’Olot” XXX Biografies (G-P) Edicions Municipals. Olot. 2001. 2. Balcells Ylla, Domingo. Pvre. “Lliberata Ferrarons i Vivés, Donzella exemplar i model de obreres” Tipografia de P. Alzamora. Olot. 1923 3. “Positio”. Roma. 1993. 4. Olot’s Property Registry

NEWS/ RECEIVED LETTERS (fragments) . Soon we will be able to see the English edition of the book “Lliberada Ferrarons, una fe sempre jove” (Trans: “Lliberada Ferrarons, a faith forever young”), written by Fr. Miquel Àngel Ferrés i Fluvià. Barcelona 2006, ed. CPL. . Dear Carmelite brothers and sisters: my name is Daniel Garcia Prieto, I am 21 years old and I’m writing from Granada. I already contacted you a few years ago asking for information about the Venerable Servant of God Lliberada Ferrarons, information that you provided me very kindly shortly after. The purpose of my letter is to tell you that I’m living in the Philippines for less than a year now and I write to you again so you could send me, if possible, holy cards some of which with relic, in order to make public the Venerable in this country so devoted and close to the Church. As Christians and sons of God we have many ways of exercising the apostolate and I think that it’s a nice way of exercising the apostolate by showing others how Saints lived. By handing out simple holy cards we are giving off a light that will be well received by afflicted hearts or of those with problems. Sure enough, we know that in the case of this Venerable Carmelite Tertiary, the Saints intercede effectively for us before God, our Lord.

. I’m Joaquim from Malgrat and I am 23 years old. I am following the Cause of Beatification of Lliberada ever since I heard it from Father Joan Baburés on the radio program called “Església Viva” where he talked about the life of Lliberada. Since then, I joined with prayers to the Cause of this girl from Olot. .... I, as a construction worker, found in Lliberada’s words a good model to follow: “our hands for working and our hearts to God”. This is not said by any Trade Union or political party. It is said by those whose heart is full with the grace of God Our Lord .. (March, 2013). . I’m Olívia, Daughter and Servant of God, Apostolic, and Roman Catholic. I humbly ask for my devotion a relic. Hopefully this year of the faith and going by the virtues of Lliberada I will be able to be closer to Jesus Christ and live by his Gospel. (Ceará BRAZIL March 2013). . In case it were helpful, the signature “Narmas” engraved on Lliberada Ferrarons’ bulletin No. 32 (2012), is the way Narcís Masferrer -native of Sant Feliu de Guíxolssigns, whom I met and in which the Municipal Theatre of St. Feliu de Guíxols name takes after. Best regards. Fr. Ernest Zaragoza i Pascual. . Olot. Feast of the Holy Trinity 2013. We pray for the swift beatification of our Lliberada. I found it appropriate that a way of praying would be by going to the places where she lived, or to which she had a special devotion for. For this reason, I propose a route accessible for everyone, and which I think that could help us: “Leaving from Carme square (everyone knows that she was a tertiary with great devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel); we will continue going up to the Firal dels Bous until we reach Sant Bernat street; the house in which where she was born is there (there is a Memorial relief there); we will continue along Sant Bernat street until arriving to Campdenmàs square; pass by the chapel of Our Lady of El Portal (we could pray there) and, while passing through Sastres street, we will arrive to Lliberada Ferrarons street (where you will find the house in which she died); down the street, and walking a bit on Major street, we will reach Tura Street where the Sanctuary of Our Lady of El Tura is found (“No és bon olotí qui no visita el Tura vespre o matí” Trans: “you’re not a true native from Olot if you do not visit El Tura in the evening or morning”. Lliberada did). From El Tura we will head over to the Parish of St. Stephen ‘s, where her remains rest”. It’s a short but very meaningful journey. Since many of the churches are closed you can do the journey by praying alone or collectively at each place, or praying the Rosary along the way. I hope that this is an additional way to achieve seeing Lliberada at the altars. (Anonymous. May 2013). . Hi, friends! We are a small group of people from Jerez de la Frontera and we like to know as much as possible all that is related to Lliberada Ferrarons i Vivés. We have the next meeting within a week and would like to talk about her life and holiness. We know that the Father Miquel Àngel Ferrés i Fluvià wrote a book about her, titled “A faith forever young”. But we can not find it. If you could help, we’d appreciate it. It may be that the newsletters you’ve made would help us a lot if you send them to this

e-mail. A big hug in the name of Jesus and Mary. ...Thank you for your loving and quick response. Through the bookstore of our Diocese we have already requested the book. In the meantime, your newsletters are very helpful. A hug in the name of Jesus and the Holy Virgin. Greetings. Fernando. (November 2013). . By mail we have received letters requesting information, pictures and relics of the Venerable Lliberada. They came from: 2013 January: BRAZIL (4), PHILIPPINES (1) February: BRAZIL (1), ITALY (1), GRANADA (1) March: BRAZIL (11), MALGRAT DE MAR (1) April: BRAZIL (5), CÓRDOBA (1) May: BRAZIL (9), ITALY (1), MALTA EU (1), NETHERLANDS (1), OLOT (1) June: BRAZIL (11), MALGRAT DE MAR (1), TEXAS (1), LAS PALMAS (1) July: BRAZIL (10), CATALONIA (1) August: BRAZIL (14), PHILIPPINES (1) September: BRAZIL (14), ITALY (1), MALTA EU (1), LAS PALMAS (1), COLOMBIA (1) October: BRAZIL (15), PHILIPPINES (3), EAST MALAYSIA (1) November: BRAZIL (8), PHILIPPINES (1), JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA (1), MEXICO (YUCATAN) (1) December: BRAZIL (5), ITALY (1)

FAVORS RECEIVED BY INTERCESSION OF THE VENERABLE LLIBERADA FERRARONS It’s convenient that those people whom may have entrusted grace in the intercession of Lliberada and have seen fulfilled their wish, report it to the Vicepostulator. For this reason and to give faith that the fame of Holiness of the Servant of God still remains, we would appreciate your contributions which we will post right here. • Welcome, around a year ago, perhaps two, I became aware of the life and example of Lliberada Ferrarons. Even though I hadn’t suffered any serious illness, it was called to my attention the patience, dignity and courage (in addition to her undeniable Christian spirit) with which she lived during her illness. She was present in my prayers a few times. And just this last month of May and due to some chest pains when I started doing physical exercise, I was diagnosed with the possibility of a coronary artery. I was waiting for the diagnosis tests.

In this period my prayers were addressed to accept with dignity and courage the outcome of any result... and I remembered Lliberada and her example. Finally, considering that I was feeling unwell, my family decided to take me to the hospital and, by running me some tests, they told me my diagnosis. This consisted in a coronary catheterism (angiography), in a beginning, in order to understand the seriousness of the disease. The diagnosis was a severe blockage in one point of the main coronary arteries, which was positively operated on at that same moment (angioplasty). According to the doctors, and if it’s God will, the future diagnosis is extremely good and, in fact, 15 days later, I’ve already been able to return to my usual athletic activities. In relation with Lliberada, there are two additional aspects that have made me think: a) I have been lucky for having the accessibility to medical technology that has made possible this excellent outcome, whereas not being able to having it, only 30 years ago, it might have led to a fatal end. Lliberada suffered an illness (hydatic cyst) that, years later, surely would have been solved satisfactorily. b) days after the intervention I realized two important coincidences: they operated on me on June 19 2013 (anniversary of the transfer of her remains to St. Stephen’s Church) and I left the hospital June 21 2013 (anniversary of her death). It’s fair to say that, after knowing this, I was immensely impressed. Basically, I wanted to share this experience and encourage everyone to witness Lliberada’s courage facing her illness, courage driven by her deep faith in Christ. Greetings, M.C. (July 2013). • Thanks to Lliberada for a received favour. (Recorded on September 2013 at the Church of Tura).

DONATIONS FOR LLIBERADA FERRARONS’ CANONIZATION CAUSE Donations from October 2012 to December 2013: Anonymous donations, 50 + 5 + 20 + 50 + 10 = 135 € Sum of donations collected in the boxes of different churches, 1366,12 € Stations of the Cross at Sant Francesc hermitage, 215,61 € Donations at the opening of the exhibition room, 21 € M.B.C., 100 €; Vincent Klee 50 €; Joan Escalona, 30 €; E.F.T., 50 €; Llagostera, € 100. PRAYER TO RECEIVE FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT THE CANONIZATION OF THE VENERABLE LLIBERADA FERRARONS Oh Holy Spirit, comfortness and saint-ness for souls, having brought joy and comfort to Lliberada Ferrarons’ angelical soul, Carmelite Tertiary, with the treasure of your gifts, and she, as a faithful administrator, distributed them to the poor and afflicted, while doing goodness on Earth, please do that her effective intercession for us, sinners, and by means of the wonders performed by your Servant, we experience how warm and comforting your love is! Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be. (With ecclesiastical approval). To send your received thankfulness, as well as for sending donations in order to defray the costs of the Canonization Cause, you may address yourselves to: Vicepostulator: Fr. Joan Baburés i Noguer Cúria Diocesana, Plaça del Vi, 2 - 17004 GIRONA Tel. + 34 972 41 27 20 / +34 639 26 92 81 Lliberada Ferrarons Cause, Carmelite Fathers Verge del Portal, 10 – 17800 OLOT (GIRONA) - Tel. +34 972 26 05 93 Banc de Sabadell: ES25.0081.7025.5500.0108.2412 You can find information on the website: and on the blog:

Profile for Lliberada Ferrarons

News Bulletin Lliberada Ferrarons, No. 33 (English)  

News Bulletin regarding the Canonization Cause of Venerable LLIBERADA FERRARONS I VIVÉS, Carmelite Tertiary, model of young workers.

News Bulletin Lliberada Ferrarons, No. 33 (English)  

News Bulletin regarding the Canonization Cause of Venerable LLIBERADA FERRARONS I VIVÉS, Carmelite Tertiary, model of young workers.

Profile for lliberada

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