Maravillas de Jesús
María Maravillas Pidal y Chico de Guzmán (1891-1974), who took the name Maravillas of Jesus in religious life as a Carmelite, was born in Madrid on November 4, 1891 and died in the convent of La Aldehuela de Getafe on December 11, 1974. She is considered one of the greatest mystics of the twentieth century.
Maria Maravillas was baptized eight days after her birth, in the parish of San Sebastian with the name Maria Maravillas Pidal y Chico de Guzman. Her father was Luis Pidal y Mon, second Marquis of Pidal, and her mother was Cristina Chico de Guzman y Munoz. Luis Pidal was the first Minister of Development and was later Spain's Ambassador to the Holy See.
She made her religious vows in 1921. In 1923, she decided to found a Carmelite convent in Getafe at the Cerro de los Angeles near the monument erected in the geographical center of Spain. The Bishop of Madrid-Alcala, Bishop Garay Eijo was enthusiastic about the idea and in 1924 Sister Maravillas and three nuns of El Escorial temporarily settled in a house from Getafe while awaiting the building of a convent. On May 30, 1924 she made her solemn profession, and in June 1926 she was appointed prioress of the convent of the Community of El Cerro (Madrid), which opened on October 31, 1926.
During the religious persecution in Spain which began in 1931, Mother Maravillas spent many hours every night praying from her Carmel, and both requested and obtained permission from Pope Pius XI for them to leave their community, giving up their lives, if the time came to defend the sacred image should it be violated. In July 1936 the Carmelites were expelled from their convent and taken prisoner to the Ursulines of Getafe. Mother Maravillas then fled to an apartment on Calle Claudio Coello in Madrid, where she spent fourteen months. In 1937, Mother was able to leave Madrid with her community and, going through Lourdes, re-entered Spain to settle in Las Batuecas (Salamanca), which had been purchased before the war. There, at the request of the bishop of Coria-Cáceres she founded a new Carmel. In March 1939 she returned to the Cerro de los Angeles.
She founded several convents, including Mancera de Abajo (Salamanca) in 1944, the Duruelo (Ávila) in 1947, the Arenas de San Pedro (Avila) in 1954, San Calixto in the Cordoba mountains in 1956, the Aravaca (Madrid) in 1958, and La Aldehuela (Getafe, Madrid) in 1961, where she was elected prioress and lived until her death. She also founded a Carmel in Kottayam, India in 1933.
Her relics were deposited in the Carmel La Aldehuela, where she died.
She was beatified in Rome by Pope John Paul II on May 10, 1998. She was canonized in Madrid on May 4, 2003, together with Angela de la Cruz and Jose Maria Rubio, as well as others. The two miracles performed through her intercession for her to be canonized were healings in Spain and Argentina.
Her liturgical feast is celebrated December 11.