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Mary de Cervellón, St.


Mercedarian foundress; b. Barcelona, Spain, Dec. 1, 1230; d. Barcelona, Sept. 19, 1290. Born of the noble family of Cervelló, Mary was educated at home and directed by Bernardo de Corbera, the first Mercedarian priest. After making a vow of chastity at 18, she began to wear the Mercedarian habit at home. After her parents died she established the second order of mercedarians, devoted to an active apostolate toward the sick and the poor. She reputedly enjoyed gifts of counsel and prophecy, and foretold the outcome of battles and her own death. She had thaumaturgic powers, especially toward seamen in danger who called her Sor María del Socos (Sra. Mary of Help) and frequently claimed they saw her (at the time in deep ecstasy in her convent) walking on the waters or hovering over their stricken ships. Her body, buried in the Mercedarian church in Barcelona, was found to be incorrupt and was exposed for public veneration in 1904 and 1939. Her cultus was confirmed in 1692. She is depicted in art holding an oar or a ship.

Feast: Sept. 19.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum Sept. 7:152171. Enciclopedia del la Religión Católica, ed. r. d. ferreres et al. (Barcelona 195056) 5:108109. v. vietti, a. mercati and a. pelzer, Dizionario ecclesiastico (Turin 195458) 2:838.

[c. m. aherne]

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