september 10. IGNACIA, POSSESSOR OF A RESTLESS HEART
1663 to 1748
Ignacia was her parents’ sole surviving child. At 21, they expected her to marry, but after a period in seclusion and prayer, she decided instead to live by the sweat of her face. She left her parents’ home at this time. The sole objects she took upon leaving were a needle and one pair of scissors. Ignacia was to be afflicted for life by a restlessness in her heart that she did not stifle or escape.
THE RELIGIOUS LIFE
Ignacia lived in a small house in the back of the local jesuit headquarters. There she led a public life of devotion at a time when native filipinos were barred from becoming nuns or priests. Prayerful women were drawn to her company, and together they became the beatas de la Virgen Maria. The women had to beg for rice and salt and scavenge for firewood in the streets to survive. Mother Ignacia took to stricter penances. She would prostrate herself on the ground, begging passersby to step on her. Occasionally she struggled under the weight of a heavy cross. She would outstretch her arms in the midday sun.
At the age of 85, she died on her knees while receiving communion at the altar.
CURING SORES FROM THE GREAT BEYOND
In 1986, a woman came forward with a miracle attributed to Ignacia’s intercession. She paid a visit to her congregation’s sister-healers, who invoked Ignacia while praying over a diabetes-related wound on her foot. The woman then placed a picture of Ignacia upon her sore, wrapped it in a bandage, and waited. When hours later she arrived home and peeled off the photo and bandage, the wound had disappeared. Her doctors confirmed that the curing was instantaneous and could not be ascribed to medical science.