Bl. Mary of the Angels Ginard Martí (1894-1936)
Angela Ginard Martí was born on 3 April 1894 in Llucmajor, Majorca, Spain, the third of nine children born to Sebastiano Ginard Garcia and Margherita Martí Canals. She was baptized two days later and given the name "Angela".
On 14 April 1905 she made her first Holy Communion and from that moment on she felt called to the Religious life, having been influenced especially by her mother's frequent visits to two of her aunts who were nuns.
Angela's family moved to Palma de Mallorca when she was still young; here, together with her two older sisters, she began to earn money by embroidering and making hats for women, while at the same time tending to the household chores and caring for her younger brothers and sisters, teaching them to pray, reading Holy Scripture to them and helping them to learn the catechism.
Daily itinerary of prayer
Angela would rise early in the morning to participate in Holy Mass at Most Holy Trinity Parish, and during the day she visited the Blessed Sacrament, recited the Holy Rosary and offered prayers for special intentions.
Such a disciplined schedule kept Angela away from the pastimes typical of children her age and gave her the interior affirmation to be called to Religious life.
When she was 20, Angela sought her parents' permission to enter the monastery of "San Bartolomeo di Inc". They told their daughter to think it over carefully and to wait awhile; indeed, they did not want to oppose a call to Religious life, but Angela's help was still needed at home. She understood her parents, and without giving up hope she agreed to wait patiently.
Entrance into the convent
After a few years had passed, Angela once again asked permission to enter the convent, and this time her parents gladly consented. On 26 November 1921, she entered the Congregation of the Zealous Sisters of Eucharistic Adoration.
Angela adapted immediately to her new life, which centred around adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Here, she drew the strength to live community life in an almost supernatural way and was an example to the other Sisters of goodness, simplicity, piety and obedience.
After her first vows, the new Sr Mary of the Angels was sent first to Madrid, then to Barcelona and then back to Madrid, where she was appointed as superior of the convent. She was there in 1936 when the Spanish Civil War broke out and religious persecution came to the fore with the burning of churches and convents, while priests, Religious and lay faithful were severely threatened.
"Solution' to Spanish Civil War
Deeply disturbed by these events, Sr Mary of the Angels tried to find a "solution", and in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament she asked what she was to do. With trusting surrender to God's providence, she offered her life to him as a martyr, were this his will.
On 20 July 1936 the Sisters finally had to flee from their convent, escaping dressed as lay people. While fearful of the future, they were comforted by the words of Sr Mary of the Angels: "All they can do to us is to kill us, nothing more".
For her, the destruction and persecution of what was religious was worse than any threat of being killed.
Sr Mary of the Angels was forced to hide in the home of a family who lived nearby the convent. Sadly, however, she was able to see from their home the destruction of the church, her convent and many religious objects.
On the evening of 25 August, members of the military finally discovered her whereabouts and came to take Sr Mary of the Angels away. Upon entering the home, they immediately arrested the landlord's sister, who had allowed Sr Mary of the Angels to live there.
With great courage and charity, Sr Mary told the troops: "The woman you have taken hold of is not a Religious; I am the only Religious here".
With these words, she saved the life of another and was destined to be a martyr.
"The little walk'
The troops bound her and led her away; the following day, she was forced to take "the little walk" to the locality of Dehesa de la Villa.
Here, a firing squad shot and killed Sr Mary of the Angels. Her mortal remains now rest in the chapel of the convent of the Zealous Sisters of Eucharistic Adoration, in Madrid.