Marian of Saint Joseph
Augustinian Servant of God
Marian of Saint Joseph (1568-1638) was an Augustinian Sister noted for her spirit of contemplation, for helping to found numerous religious houses and for writing several spiritual books.
Marian de Manzanedo y Maldonado was born August 5, 1568 in Alba de Tormes, Salamanca, Spain. Hers was a prominent family. It was also a religious family. One of her grandparents was ordained a Priest, while a grandmother entered the convent along with one of her daughters, Marian's aunt. Her own father became a Priest following the death of his wife.
As a girl, Marian met Saint Teresa, whom she always admired and whose writings had a strong influence on her.
At the age of eight, Marian went to live in the Augustinian convent of Santa Cruz, where two of her aunts were Sisters. There she was given a solid formation in human knowledge and Christian spirituality.
At the age of 18, Marian took the Augustinian habit. Her monastery was part of the reform movement led by Saint Alfonso de Orozco. She was named Director of Novices and Prioress (local superior).
In 1603, the Augustinian Provincial (regional superior) opened a new monastery in Eibar, Guipuzcoa and chose Marian as its first Superior. She helped found additional monasteries in Medina del Campo, Valladolid and Palencia.
In 1611, King Philip III and Queen Margarita of Austria financed the establishment of the new Monastery of the Incarnation in Madrid and asked that Marian take charge of its foundation. She helped open other monasteries later in Madrid, Medellín, Requena, Carmona and Pamplona.
Marian had a great devotion to the humanity of Christ and his Passion, to the Eucharist, and to the Sacred Heart and Redeeming Blood shed by the Savior, as well as to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her interior joy, faith and love of God were evident. She showed love to all and lived with humility. As a founder and Superior, she governed with prudence and courage.
She wrote several books and numerous letters which give evidence of the simplicity and depth of her mystical experiences.
She was Prioress of the Monastery of the Incarnation at the time of her death in 1638. Her remains are preserved in Madrid at this monastery.
The process of beatification and canonization of Marian of Saint Joseph was opened in 1993. The diocesan investigation of her life was completed in 1996. The Augustinian Postulator of Causes, Josef Sciberras, O.S.A., is now overseeing the progress of her cause.