Community Saint Maria de Jesus Sacramentado
909 S. 1st Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Our Patroness | Saint Maria de Jesus Sacramentado (1868-1959)
Maria de Jesus Sacramentado is the foundress of the religious congregation the Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the first woman saint from Mexico. She is most renowned for her deep devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and her selfless care of the poor and sick. In the words of John Paul the Great at her canonization, Maria de Jesus is “an eloquent example of total dedication to the service of God and to suffering humanity.”
Maria Natividad Venegas de la Torre was born on September 18, 1868 in the small town of Zapotlanejo located in central Mexico. She lived a simple life, unmarked by miraculous or extraordinary events. Her mother died when she was an infant, and at the age of 19 she was orphaned by the death of her father. She was taken in by her paternal aunt. Maria Natividad felt a strong call to religious life, and in 1898 she joined the Sodality of the Children of Mary. With this sodality she developed a strong prayer life and her devotion to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist greatly increased.
In 1905, at the invitation of her spiritual director she participated in a Spiritual Exercise, after which she decided to become a part of a small community of women who were dedicated to the care of the sick at the Hospital of the Sacred Heart. She was known for her humility, simplicity, and kindness towards others. She always gave particular respect to priests. By the reverential way she related to every priest, she truly made present the person of Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest.
Finally answering the call to religious life, Maria Natividad and her community of devout women started the process of forming a new religious congregation. In 1921, the community nominated Maria Natividad Superior General, and shortly after began writing the Constitutions of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Their charism is charity towards the poor and the sick. They received Church approval in 1930, the same year Maria Natividad made final vows and took on the name Maria de Jesus Sacramentado. The saint died in peace on July 30, 1959 after receiving the sacraments.
Maria de Jesus Sacramentado was beatified in 1992 and canonized by Pope Saint John Paul the Great in 2000. The miracle used for her canonization occurred at the Sacred Heart Hospital where she used to serve. Anastasio Ledezma Mora was brought to the hospital needing heart surgery. After administering anesthesia, however, his heart rate slowed and then completely stopped. The doctors tried to revive him, but he went into a deep coma with no pulse. The doctors and the nurses (some of Maria de Jesus’ sisters) invoked the intersession of Maria de Jesus Sacramentado. Ten to twelve minutes later, Mora’s heart started to beat again and revival attempts were successful. After a few days, doctors were able to complete the surgery without complication and Mora was eventually released from the hospital. He had no permanent brain damage, truly a miracle after suffering complete cardiac arrest for so long.
Read the homily John Paul the Great gave at the canonization of Maria de Jesus Sacrementado.