Martillo Morán, Narcisa de Jesús, Bl.

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MARTILLO MORÁN, NARCISA DE JESÚS, BL.

Lay mystic; b. 1832, at Daule (Nobol) near Guayaquil, Ecuador; d. Dec. 8, 1869, Lima, Peru. Narcisa's parents, Pedro Martillo Mosquera and Josefina Morán, were peasant farmers who died while Narcisa was very young. The middle child of nine, Narcisa moved to Guayaquil to find work as a seamstress to help support her siblings. For more than fifteen years, with a short break (c. 1865) in Cuenca, she dedicated her life to manual labor, prayer, teaching catechism, and caring for the neediest residents of the capital. In Cuenca, she was invited by the bishop to enter the Carmelites, but discerned that her vocation was in the world. In 1868, she travelled to Lima, Peru, where she lived as a lay woman in the Dominican convent. A pious woman, Narcisa did penances and was devoted to the Cross of Christ. Soon after her death pilgrims began praying at her tomb in Lima. Her cause for beatification was opened in 1889. In 1955, her body was translated to Guayaquil and now rests in her native town of Nobol under the altar of the Santuario de la Beata Narcisa de Jesús. During her beatification ceremony (Oct. 25, 1992), Pope John Paul II praised her as the glory of Ecuador.

Feast: Aug. 30.

Bibliography: Acta Apostolicae Sedis 21 (1992): 1017.

[k. i. rabenstein]