Minute Meditations

Extending Hospitality to All

“Charity enters heaven when humility opens the door.” —St. María Natividad Venegas de la Torre

Mexico’s first female saint went from nurse to pharmacist to accountant to director of the Guadalajara hospital where her community did its first ministry. María’s confidence in the Lord and her hospitality kept the hospital open and assisting all amid religious persecution. An uprising known as the Cristero Rebellion resulted in about ninety thousand deaths in three years. The rebellion came to the hospital. But instead of engaging with the government soldiers in a way that would heighten the tension (and risk the hospital’s doors being closed), Madre Nati met them with courtesy and hospitality. No one who needed attention was turned away, Catholic or non-Catholic, military or civilian. She and her sisters managed to save the Eucharist from desecration by carefully hiding it in their beehives. As a result of her efforts, the hospital remained open throughout the conflict.

— from Radical Saints: 21 Women for the 21st Century, by Melanie Rigney

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