Sunday, 22 March 2015

The Foundation of Madrid

For several years the Redemptorist Fathers in Spain desired to establish a Monastery of Redemptoristines in this kingdom, but several requests made to the Monastery of Saint Amand (Nord) were unfruitful and they were forced to wait for the hour of Providence. In 1904, when Spain was in negotiation with Rome for the arrangement of a concordat on the subject of the religious question, the Most Rev. Father Runner, the Provincial, judged the moment propitious, seeing that in this concordat the existing religious Orders were by this very fact approved by the government, and so he made new requests to the Monastery of Grenoble (Isere), but he obtained only a refusal.

After he turned to the Monastery of Kain in Belgium, the community granted the foundation on the condition of obtaining a Superior from the Monastery of Grenoble. After many difficulties it consented, forced, we might say, by our good God, to give the religious requested.

This religious left to see if, following the offer by our Fathers in Grenada, their convent, which they were obliged to leave in order to take up possession of another church, would be suitable for the foundation, but as neither the Monastery nor the location turned out to be suitable for contemplative religious, she went back to Madrid where, against all hope, His Excellency, Mons the Bishop of this city joyfully gave his authorisation for an establishment in his diocese, on 15th May, the feast of Saint Isidore, the patron of the city of Madrid. The will of God having thus been manifested, it was there that we were called to establish ourselves, and it was there that the religious of Kain came to join their Superior, who had received a hospitality as cordial as it was fraternal, among the nuns of the Sacred Heart.

They began by renting a villa at the edge of the city, but the location was not a suitable one, and Rev. Father Runner, after much deliberation, advised them to say a novena to Saint Alphonsus, in order to find a suitable house and land. On the eighth day of this novena, a lady came to offer them a house and garden situated at Carabanchel Alto, near Madrid. His Reverence went out to the place and was able to say that it was truly the reply of their good Father. Full of gratitude, he announced the good news to the Mothers who joined with him in thanking their holy founder.

A remarkable thing – with a magnificent site, complete solitude, a superb view and very pure air, this house possessed a lovely little chapel. On the frontispiece of the door there was a medallion of the Sacred Heart similar to the one the nuns wear on their breast, and on the roof there was a great iron cross.

Being thus directed there by Providence, the little community took possession of this house on 1st September. The following 27th April, after dedicating the Monastery to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, they established the enclosure, into which six Spanish postulants entered.

With the aid and the constant and disinterested devotion of our Fathers and Brothers, we began the construction of the Monastery on 16th September of this year 1905.

May divine Providence permit its prompt completion, so that we, like our first Mothers at Scala, shall be allowed to enjoy the inappreciable advantages of solemn vows authorised in Spain.

Sister Marie-Philomene, Redemptoristine.

This necrology is translated from Fleurs de l'Institut des Rédemptoristines by Mr John R. Bradbury. The copyright of this translation is the property of the Redemptoristine Nuns of Maitland, Australia. The integral version of the translated book will be posted here as the necrologies appear.

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