Catherine Maura of Saint Thomas of Villanova
Augustinian Servant of God
Catherine Maura of Saint Thomas of Villanova (1664-1735) was an Augustinian Sister known for her holiness, simplicity of life and for her concern for the physical and spiritual well-being of the Sisters in her community.
Born September 5, 1664 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Catherine Maura was religiously inclined from a very early age.
As a young woman, she rejected several marriage proposals, saying to herself that she had fallen in love with God, and wanted to marry no other spouse but Jesus. She consecrated herself totally to Christ.
Catherine Maura felt a call to the religious life. Two Augustinians had a great influence on her: Father Peter Binimelis, O.S.A. and Augustinian Secular Isabel Riera.
She entered the convent of the Augustinians of the Immaculate Conception as a Postulant in 1684. Although the community wanted her to be a choir sister, she preferred more humble duties, such as cooking and working in the garden.
When she did not find in the convent the high degree of perfection that she had hoped for, Catherine Maura became like a prophet, calling the Sisters to a more authentic and observant religious life by her words and example.
She professed vows in 1686, and continued to serve through her manual labor, carrying out such tasks as making and caring for the Sisters' clothing, baking bread, looking after the sick and taking charge of the sacristy. She concerned herself not only with the physical needs of the Sisters, but also with helping them grow closer to God.
Catherine Maura was devoted to the Passion of the Lord, to the Eucharist, and to the Immaculate Conception. She had a great fondness for Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas of Villanova and Blessed Raymond Llull. She developed a deep prayer life, in which she persevered even during periods of spiritual dryness.
She died January 18, 1735. So great was her reputation for holiness that the town of Palma would organize a solemn celebration in her memory each year on the anniversary of her death. Her remains are preserved at the Augustinian convent in Palma.
The process for her beatification and canonization began with the local investigation into her life, which took place from 1933 to 1936. The Augustinian Postulator of Causes, Josef Sciberras, O.S.A., is now overseeing the progress of her cause.