Bandrés y Elósegui, María Antonia, Bl.

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Religious; b. Tolosa, Guipúzcoa, Spain, March 6, 1898; d. Salamanca, Spain, April 27, 1919. María Antonia, born into a well-to-do family in the Basque country of north central Spain near the border with France, was the second of fifteen children born to the lawyer Ramón Bandrés and his wife Teresa Elósegui. María Antonia attended the local school run by the Daughters of Jesus, the congregation founded by Cándida María cipitria (who was beatified with María Antonia). Despite her family's position in society, María Antonia provided assistance and catechesis to working women in the suburbs. Seeking greater perfection, she joined Mother Cándida's order at Salamanca (Dec. 8, 1915) and professed her religious vows (May 31, 1918). María Antonia's health failed when she was twenty years old. Her agnostic doctor, Filiberto Villalobos, with his friends Miguel de Unamuno and Indalecio Prieto, testified that her serenity and patient endurance inspired their conversion to faith. She was beatified in Rome by John Paul II, May 12, 1996.

Bibliography: e. itÚrbide, Antoñita Bandrés Elósegui, religiosa de Hijas de Jesús: fuego de holocausto que redime (Pamplona 1960).

[k. i. rabenstein]