Angela of the Cross

Last updated
St. Angela of the Cross Guerrero y González
Santa angela.jpg
Virgin and foundress
BornMaría de los Ángeles Guerrero y González
30 January 1846
Seville, Spain
Residence Seville, Spain
Died2 March 1932
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
(Sisters of the Cross)
Beatified 5 November 1982 [1] , Madrid, Spain, by Pope John Paul II
Canonized 4 May 2003, Madrid, Spain, by Pope John Paul II
Major shrine Convent of the Sisters of the Cross, Calle Santa Ángela de la Cruz, Seville, Spain
Feast 2 March
Major worksFounded Sisters of the Company of the Cross

Angela of the Cross Guerrero y González, (Spanish : Ángela de la Cruz Guerrero y González; 30 January 1846 – 2 March 1932) [2] , was a Spanish religious sister and the foundress of the Sisters of the Company of the Cross  [ es ] [3] , a Roman Catholic religious institute dedicated to helping the abandoned poor and the ill with no one to care for them. She was canonized in 2003 by Pope John Paul II. [4]


Early life

Born in Seville on 30 January 1846, at 5 Plaza de Santa Lucia, she was baptised on 2 February in the Church of Santa Lucia under the name María de los Angeles. [5]

The family was humble. Her father, Francisco Guerrero, was a wool carder from Grazalema who had moved to Seville. Her mother, Josefa González, was from Seville, a daughter of parents born in Arahal and Zafra. She was one of 14 children, of whom only six reached adulthood.

Both of Guerrero’s parents worked in a priory of the Trinitarian friars in Seville, her father as a cook and her mother as a laundress and seamstress. Her schooling was limited, as was typical of young girls of that social class at that time. She received her first communion when she was eight years old and confirmation when she was nine. At 12 years of age she went to work in a shoe repair shop to help the family income, and remained there almost continuously until she was 29.

Religious awakening

Guerrero’s supervisor at the shoe repair shop was Antonia Maldonado, a devout lady who encouraged her employees to pray together, recite the rosary and read about the lives of saints. Through her, when she was 16 years old, Guerrero was introduced to José Torres y Padilla, a priest from the Canary Islands with a reputation for holiness, who was Maldonado’s spiritual director. He became Guerrero's spiritual guide and confessor and came to have a major influence on her. [5]

In 1865, at age 19, Guerrero applied to enter the monastery of the Discalced Carmelite nuns in Seville as a lay sister. Her application, however, was denied because the state of her health seemed inadequate for the heavy physical work demanded of those members of the monastic community. She was then advised by Torres to start work among the ill, particularly those suffering from cholera, which was rife at that time. Three years later, in 1868, she applied again to enter consecrated life, this time to the Daughters of Charity in Seville and, although still not well, she was accepted. The sisters attempted to nurse her to full health, sending her to Valencia to recover, [6] but Guerrero finally had to leave the convent during her novitiate and returned to work in the shoe factory. During this time she kept a detailed spiritual diary which revealed the style and life ideals that she felt called to live. [7]


Birthplace of Santa Angela in Seville Logo 042.jpg
Birthplace of Santa Angela in Seville
Statue of Saint Angela of the Cross in Seville. Santa Angela de la Cruz - Basilica de La Macarena - Seville.jpg
Statue of Saint Angela of the Cross in Seville.

On 2 August 1875 Guerrero (now 29 years old) left the shoe shop and was joined by three other women, Josefa de la Peña, who was wealthy, and Juana María Castro and Juana Magadán, both from poor families like hers, who established themselves as a religious community. Torres assumed the position of director of the new institute and appointed Guerrero the sister superior of the community. [6] With money from De la Peña, they had rented a small room with access to a kitchen at 13 San Luis Street in Seville and from there they organized a day and night support service for the local poor and ill. [8] At that time, they began to wear a religious habit and Guerrero took the religious name of Mother Angela of the Cross.

The community received official approval on 5 April 1876 from Luis de la Lastra y Cuesta, the cardinal archbishop of Seville. In 1877 a second community was founded in Utrera, in the Province of Seville, and later another in Ayamonte. Torres died in the same year and his place as director of the institute was taken by his protegee, José María Alvarez y Delgado. That same year, Guerrero took her perpetual religious vows under him. [6] Soon 23 communities of the new institute came to be founded, mostly around western Andalusia and southern Extremadura. [5]


Guerrero died in Seville on 2 March 1932 from natural causes, aged 86, [5] [7] and was entombed in the Sisters of the Cross Convent. Seventy-one years later, on 4 May 2003, her body was transferred to Seville Cathedral as part of the celebration of her canonization. Her body remained on display for a week in a glass-sided coffin until it was returned to the convent on 11 May. [9]


As the first step in Guerrero's canonization, she was declared venerable on 12 February 1976 by Pope Paul VI. She was beatified on 5 November 1982 by Pope John Paul II in Seville. [1] Finally she was declared a saint on 4 May 2003 by Pope John Paul II in the Plaza de Colón in Madrid. [7]

Related Research Articles

Maria Soledad Torres y Acosta Spanish saint and foundress

Saint María Soledad Torres y Acosta - born Manuela - was a Spanish Roman Catholic professed religious and the founder of the Servants of Mary. Her apostolic actions - and those of her order - were dedicated towards the nursing of the sick and the poor in the places that it operated in. Torres' childhood consisted of the desire to join the religious life and managed to join a priest's fledgling religious cluster of women after the Dominicans refused to admit her due to her frail constitution. But a series of struggles saw her in a conflicted position of leadership that saw her removed and reinstated twice.

Pauline of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus Austro-Hungarian immigrant to Brazil, foundress and saint

Saint Pauline of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus, C.I.I.C., was an immigrant from Austria-Hungary to Brazil, who became the foundress of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, Religious Sisters who serve the poor. She became the first female Brazilian to be proclaimed a saint by the Catholic Church, when she was canonized on 19 May 2002 by Pope John Paul II. Pauline suffered from diabetes for much of her life and is considered by some to be a patron saint of diabetics.

Josefa de Óbidos Portuguese artist

Josefa de Óbidos was a Spanish-born Portuguese painter. Her birth name was Josefa de Ayala Figueira, but she signed her work as, "Josefa em Óbidos" or, "Josefa de Ayalla". All of her work was executed in Portugal, her father's native country, where she lived from the age of four. Approximately 150 works of art have been attributed to Josefa de Óbidos, making her one of the most prolific Baroque artists in Portugal.

Venerable Mother María Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament, also called Mother Luisita was a Mexican Roman Catholic nun who founded the Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mexico and the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles.

Irmã Dulce Pontes Brazilian Catholic Franciscan Sister

Dulce Pontes, also known as Saint Dulce of the Poor was a Brazilian Catholic Franciscan Sister who was the founder of the Obras Sociais Irmã Dulce also known as the Charitable Works Foundation of Sister Dulce.

Jeanne Jugan French saint

Jeanne Jugan, also known as Sister Mary of the Cross, L.S.P., was a French woman who became known for the dedication of her life to the neediest of the elderly poor. Her service resulted in the establishment of the Little Sisters of the Poor, who care for the elderly who have no other resources throughout the world. She has been declared a saint by the Catholic Church.

Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus organization

The Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a Roman Catholic religious institute that was founded in Madrid, Spain, in 1877 by two sisters, María Dolores and Raphaela Maria Porras y Ayllon. Rafaela Maria became its first superior general in 1877 and in the same year, the congregation received papal approval. The focus of the institute is on "children's education and helping at retreats", reflected in its 130 convents in 27 countries, and the number of schools that it has founded.

Clare of Assisi Italian saint

Saint Clare of Assisi is an Italian saint and one of the first followers of Saint Francis of Assisi. She founded the Order of Poor Ladies, a monastic religious order for women in the Franciscan tradition, and wrote their Rule of Life, the first set of monastic guidelines known to have been written by a woman. Following her death, the order she founded was renamed in her honour as the Order of Saint Clare, commonly referred to today as the Poor Clares. Her feast day is on 11 August.

Saint Nazaria Ignacia March Mesa – in religious Nazaria of Saint Teresa of Jesus – was a Spanish Roman Catholic professed religious and the founder of the Missionaries of the Crusade. Mesa immigrated from Spain to Mexico where she joined a religious order that saw her minister in Bolivia where she remained for most of her life. She served brief stints in Spain to spread the religious order she founded after she left her own order and relocated to Argentina where she later died.

Juana de la Cruz Vázquez Gutiérrez Spanish venerated Christian

Juana de la Cruz Vázquez y Gutiérrez, T.O.R.,, was a Spanish abbess of the Franciscan Third Order Regular. Known to be a mystic, she was authorized to preach publicly, an extraordinary permission for a woman. Living at the start of Spanish mysticism's golden era, she is counted among Teresa of Ávila's literary mothers. In 2015 she was declared Venerable by the Catholic Church.

Laura Montoya Colombian catholic sister

Saint Laura Montoya - known in religion as Laura of Saint Catherine of Siena - was a Colombian Roman Catholic professed religious and the founder of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Virgin Mary and Saint Catherine of Siena (1914). She was well known for her work with Indigenous peoples and for acting as a strong role model for South American girls.

Marie-Madeleine Postel French saint

Marie-Madeleine Postel - born Julie Françoise-Catherine Postel - was a French Catholic professed religious and the founder of the Sisters of Christian Schools. Postel was also a member from the Third Order of Saint Francis and had served as a schoolteacher after the French Revolution where she oversaw the education of around 300 children. The Revolution saw her use her then-disbanded school to house fugitive priests despite the great risk that posed to her own life.

Sisters, Servants of Mary Roman Catholic religious institute of women

The Servants of Mary, Ministers to the Sick, are a Roman Catholic religious institute of women founded in Madrid, Spain, in 1851 and dedicated to the care of the sick, poor, both in clinics, hospices and through home health nursing. They were founded by Maria Soledad Torres y Acosta who was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970. The Religious Sisters of this congregation use the postnominal initials of M.

María de la Purísima Salvat Romero Spanish religious (1926-1998)

Saint María de la Purísima Salvat Romero, born María Isabel Salvat Romero, was a Spanish Roman Catholic nun and a member of the Sisters of the Company of the Cross. She assumed the name of "María de la Purísima of the Cross" after she entered that order. Romero was the successor of Saint Angela of the Cross of the latter's congregation and was known for her firmness in the progress of the order and in their role as servants of God and His people. Romero was known in her order for her strong commitment to uphold the magisterium of the Church.

Rafaela Porras Ayllón cofounder of Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Rafaela Porras Ayllón was a Spanish Roman Catholic professed religious who established the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in conjunction with her sister; upon becoming a nun she assumed the religious name of "María of the Sacred Heart of Jesus". She was a nun for most of her life and devoted herself to the management of the congregation and resided in Rome until her death after her resignation as the order's superior in 1893.

Blessed María Emilia Riquelme y Zayas was a Spanish Roman Catholic religious sister and the founder of the Misioneras del Santísimo Sacramento y María Inmaculada. In her childhood she moved from place to place, since her father was an officer and was moved to different barracks across the nation. All the while she studied in boarding schools to perfect her knowledge in French and art. After her schooling she felt drawn to the religious life and set herself on entering a convent after her father died. But ill health forced her to give up this idea and she instead founded a congregation of her own alongside several like-minded women who made the poor the focus of their apostolate. This congregation would spread within Spain and later across to other countries such as Portugal and Bolivia.


  2. St. Angela of the Cross
  3. St. Angela of the Cross
  4. Saint Angela of the Cross
  5. 1 2 3 4 "Ángela de la Cruz Guerrero González (1846–1932)". Vatican New Service. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
  6. 1 2 3 "Biografías: Santa Ángela de la Cruz". Hermanas de la Cruz.(in Spanish)
  7. 1 2 3 "Saint Angela of the Cross Guerrero". 2010-02-26. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
  8. "Santa Ángela de la Cruz". Retrieved 2012-04-11.
  9. "Santa Ángela de la Cruz". Retrieved 2012-04-11.