by Catrina Shaina Marie O. Sacares
A woman has always been a symbol for care, warmth and love. Just like how Mother Mary was to Jesus, many women have the ability to make any seed grow in comfort and wisdom. However, due to this perennial perspective, the women in the society are also seen as someone weak physically and emotionally due to their general affective influence. Nevertheless, there are three women of powerful devotion who proved that their brave heart, strengthened in prayer and faith, can break the chains of any societal disadvantages.
St. Joan of Arc, St. Teresa of Calcutta and St. Maria Goretti are only three of the women saints who are prominent for their potent stories showing fortitude, determination and power. They all used their full strength to withstand their time’s crisis and devoted themselves to unconditional service to God.
St. Joan of Arc, a Woman of Fortitude Spirit.
St. Joan of Arc has been the face of courage to many Catholic women from her time and until the present day. It is rooted from her story of war and how she was able to conquer the English army as she led the French troops, bringing her visions from St. Michael the Archangel, St. Margaret, and St. Catherine of Alexandria. However, because of the same visions which empowered her heart, the people thought she was a witch and pushed for her death by burning at the stake.
Regardless of how frightening everything had been for our St. Joan, she did not back down. She stood firm with her visions just like how she bravely defeated the English army in the war. With this, she proved herself that she is a woman of God and nothing can ever tell her the other way around.
Joan of Arc at the Coronation of Charles VII in Reims Cathedral | Artwork by Ingres, 1854
St. Teresa of Calcutta, a Woman of Determined Heart.
St. Teresa of Calcutta or also known as “Mother Teresa” is indeed the face of unconditional passion to serve. Her story has inspired many women of today to devote themselves to serving people in the name of goodness and faith.
It all started with her ‘call within a call’ mission of which she strongly believed it was a message from God to create a community that will serve the most marginalized sector thus, leaving the convent life. With her fervent determination to make this happen, she began everything with acquiring knowledge on how to serve better such as obtaining basic medical training to help the poorest of the poor in slum areas. Given her dedication to fulfill her purpose, she was able to establish the Mother Teresa Home for Infant Children with Hillary Clinton in 1994.
As a result of her unending perseverance, she is now known by the world as the saint who manifested warmth and care for the abandoned children and/or infants and the marginalized population.
St. Teresa of Calcutta | Photo from Catholic Faith Store
St. Maria Goretti, a Woman of Strong Forgiveness.
St. Maria Goretti is famous for her outstanding open heart and forgiveness. She is known for her story of hardship and yet resilience in faith. It all began when she was 11 years old and a man named Alessandro attempted to rape her. She resisted and fought Alessandro as she screamed that what he was about to do is a sin and God despised such cruelty. Hence, when Alessandro got triggered by her words and stabbed her 11 times. St. Maria Goretti tried to flee with her remaining strength but Alessandro stabbed her three more times.
However, she had forgiven the suspect by appearing in his dreams as she was said to have given him lilies and instantly burned in his hands. This had made the suspect a reformed man, and asked forgiveness to Maria’s mother.
With this, many have looked up to her as a woman of chastity and pure heart with limitless room for forgiveness. She proved that a woman does not just need physical strength but also a mighty heart that can withstand the fears and anger that even death cannot hinder.
Wooden Statue of Maria Goretti |Artwork by Ferdinand Stuflesser
Through Strong Faith And Mission
In the end, the three of them are blinded with their strong bond of faith and sense of mission. They were able to go beyond any fear with their courageous and powerful devotion to fulfill their purpose assigned to them by God.
With this, as we celebrate Women’s Month, let them be a significant symbol of how women can conquer any hardship with and through Him who gives strength. Every woman is more than what the society pushes them to be as He has given everyone an important pursuit to holiness and goodness.