Narcisa de Jesús

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Narcisa de Jesús Martillo Morán
Born(1832-10-29)29 October 1832
Nobol, Guayas, Ecuador
Died8 December 1869(1869-12-08) (aged 37)
Lima, Peru
Venerated in Catholic Church
Beatified 25 October 1992, Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II
Canonized 12 October 2008, Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope Benedict XVI
Major shrine Santuario de Santa Narcisa de Jesus Martillo Morán, Ecuador
Feast August 30

Narcisa de Jesús Martillo Morán (29 October 1832 – 8 December 1869) was an Ecuadorian Catholic saint. [1] Martillo was known for her charitable giving and strict devotion to Jesus Christ while becoming somewhat of a hermit dedicated to discerning his will. The death of her parents prompted her to relocate in order to work as a seamstress while doubling as a catechist and educator to some of her siblings who needed caring. But her devotion to God was strong and it led her to live amongst the Dominican religious in Peru where she spent time before her death. [2] [3]

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Canonization Act by which churches declare that a person who has died was a saint

Canonization is the act by which a Christian church declares that a person who has died was a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the list of recognized saints, called the "canon". Originally, a person was recognized as a saint without any formal process. Later, different processes were developed, such as those used today in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion.

Catechism A summary or exposition of doctrine

A catechism is a summary or exposition of doctrine and serves as a learning introduction to the Sacraments traditionally used in catechesis, or Christian religious teaching of children and adult converts. Catechisms are doctrinal manuals – often in the form of questions followed by answers to be memorised – a format that has been used in non-religious or secular contexts as well. According to Norman DeWitt, the early Christians appropriated this practice from the Epicureans, a school whose founder Epicurus had instructed to keep summaries of the teachings for easy learning. The term catechumen refers to the designated recipient of the catechetical work or instruction. In the Catholic Church, catechumens are those who are preparing to receive the Sacrament of Baptism. Traditionally, they would be placed separately during Holy Mass from those who had been baptized, and would be dismissed from the liturgical assembly before the Profession of Faith (Creed) and General Intercessions.


Her cause for sainthood commenced on 27 September 1975, under Pope Paul VI, and she became titled as a Servant of God; while the confirmation of her life of heroic virtue allowed for Pope John Paul II to name her as Venerable on 23 October 1987. Martillo was beatified on 25 October 1992, after the approval of a 1967 miracle, while the confirmation of a 1992 miracle allowed for Pope Benedict XVI to canonise her on 12 October 2008 in Saint Peter's Square. [4]

Pope Paul VI Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1963 to 1978

Pope Paul VI was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 21 June 1963 to his death in 1978. Succeeding John XXIII, he continued the Second Vatican Council which he closed in 1965, implementing its numerous reforms, and fostered improved ecumenical relations with Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches, which resulted in many historic meetings and agreements. Montini served in the Holy See's Secretariat of State from 1922 to 1954. While in the Secretariat of State, Montini and Domenico Tardini were considered as the closest and most influential advisors of Pius XII, who in 1954 named him Archbishop of Milan, the largest Italian diocese. Montini later became the Secretary of the Italian Bishops' Conference. John XXIII elevated him to the College of Cardinals in 1958, and after the death of John XXIII, Montini was considered one of his most likely successors.

Servant of God someone who is being investigated by the Catholic Church for possible sainthood

"Servant of God" is a term used for individuals by various religions for people believed to be pious in the faith's tradition. In the Catholic Church, it designates an individual who is being investigated by the Church for possible canonization as a saint. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, this term is used to refer to any Eastern Orthodox Christian. The Arabic name Abdullah, the Hebrew name Obadiah (עובדיה), the German name Gottschalk, and the Sanskrit name Devadasa are all variations of "servant of God".

Heroic virtue is a phrase coined by Augustine of Hippo to describe the virtue of early Christian martyrs and used by the Catholic Church. The Greek pagan term hero described a person with possibly superhuman abilities and great goodness, and "it connotes a degree of bravery, fame, and distinction which places a man high above his fellows". The term was later applied to other highly virtuous persons who do extraordinary good works.


Narcisa de Jesús Martillo Morán was born on 29 October 1832 in the small village of San José in Nobol in Ecuador as the sixth of nine children born to Pedro Martillo and Josefina Morán who were landowners. [1] Her father was a great worker to the point that he amassed considerable wealth; he had a devotion to Blessed Mariana de Jesús and Saint Jacinto of Poland. [2]

Nobol Town in Guayas, Ecuador

Nobol is a town located in central Guayas, Ecuador. It is the seat of Nobol Canton, created in 1992.

Ecuador Republic in South America

Ecuador, officially the Republic of Ecuador, is a country in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean on the west. Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) west of the mainland. The capital city is Quito, which is also the largest city.

Hyacinth of Poland Polish Dominican priest

Saint Hyacinth, O.P., was a Polish Dominican priest and missionary that worked to reform women's monasteries in his native Poland. He was a Doctor of Sacred Studies, educated in Paris and Bologna.

Her mother died in 1838 and she took up much of the domestic chores as a result of this while an elder sister and teacher taught her to read and write as well as to sing and use the guitar; she also learned how to sew and cook. The girl also turned a small room in her house as a domestic chapel. [2] [4] Martillo received her Confirmation on 16 September 1839. Martillo frequented a small wood near her home for contemplation in solitude while the guava tree near which she went to is now a large pilgrimage destination. The girl also chose the then-Blessed Mariana de Jesús as her patron with whom she identified and strived to imitate in her own life. [1] Martillo was known for being sweet and thoughtful with a peaceful and generous disposition; she was obedient to those around her and was well-known and loved in her village. Martillo was blonde with bright blue eyes and was strong and agile; she was also tall. [2] [3]

Guitar Fretted string instrument

The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that usually has six strings. It is typically played with both hands by strumming or plucking the strings with either a guitar pick or the finger(s)/fingernails of one hand, while simultaneously fretting with the fingers of the other hand. The sound of the vibrating strings is projected either acoustically, by means of the hollow chamber of the guitar, or through an electrical amplifier and a speaker.

Guava Tropical fruit

Guava is a common tropical fruit cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions. Psidium guajava is a small tree in the myrtle family (Myrtaceae), native to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and northern South America. Although related species may also be called guavas, they belong to other species or genera, such as the "pineapple guava", Acca sellowiana. In 2016, India was the largest producer of guavas, with 41% of the world total.

Patron saint saint regarded as the tutelary spirit or heavenly advocate of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person

A patron saint, patroness saint, patron hallow or heavenly protector is a saint who in Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism or Eastern Orthodoxy, is regarded as the heavenly advocate of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family or person.

The death of her father in January 1852 prompted her to relocate to Guayaquil where she lived with prominent nobles and it was here that she began her mission of helping the poor and the sick and caring for abandoned children. It was also here that she took a job as a seamstress in order to fund her mission as well as supporting her eight brothers and sisters. [1] [4] But she soon moved to Cuenca for some months where she went from home to home and lived with whoever would take her in including Mercedes de Jesús Molina to allow herself greater time for silent contemplation and penance. In 1865 her spiritual director fell ill and died in 1868 which was at the time the local bishop invited her to live with the Carmelites even though she had refused the offer. [3]

Guayaquil City in Guayas, Ecuador

Guayaquil, officially Santiago de Guayaquil is the second largest city in Ecuador, with 2,578,201 people in its metropolitan area. It is also the nation's main port. The city is the capital of Guayas Province and the seat of Guayaquil canton.

Cuenca, Ecuador City in Azuay, Ecuador

Santa Ana de los Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca, commonly referred as Cuenca, is the capital and largest city of the Azuay Province of Ecuador. Cuenca is located in the highlands of Ecuador at about 2,560 metres above sea level, with an urban population of approximately 329,928 and 661,685 inhabitants in the larger metropolitan area. The center of the city is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its many historical buildings.

Mercedes de Jesús Molina Ecuadorain Blessed

Blessed Mercedes de Jesús Molina is a Roman Catholic blessed from Baba, Ecuador. She was a missionary who devoted her life to the care of abandoned children and founded the order of the Sisters of Mariana de Jesús. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 1 February 1985.

In June 1868 she relocated to Lima in Peru at the advice of her new Franciscan spiritual director Pedro Gual where she lived in the Dominican convent at Patrocinio despite not being a nun. It was here that she followed a demanding schedule of eight hours of reflection which was offered in silence and solitude. [1] [2] In addition she devoted four hours of the night to various forms of mortification which included flagellation and the wearing of a crown of thorns. In terms of nourishment she fasted on bread and water alone and took the Eucharist as her sole form of sustenance while was sometimes seen in an ecstatic state.

Lima Capital city in Peru

Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central coastal part of the country, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. With a population of more than 9 million, Lima is the most populous metropolitan area of Peru and the third-largest city in the Americas, behind São Paulo and Mexico City.

Peru Republic in South America

Peru, officially the Republic of Peru, is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.

Dominican Order Roman Catholic religious order

The Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominican Order, is a mendicant Catholic religious order founded by the Spanish priest Dominic of Caleruega in France, approved by Pope Innocent III via the Papal bull Religiosam vitam on 22 December 1216. Members of the order, who are referred to as Dominicans, generally carry the letters OP after their names, standing for Ordinis Praedicatorum, meaning of the Order of Preachers. Membership in the order includes friars, nuns, active sisters, and affiliated lay or secular Dominicans.

In late September 1869 she developed high fevers for which medical remedies could do little and she died as a result before midnight on 8 December 1869; upon her death a nun reported a pleasant and sweet odor filling the room that Martillo had died in. It should also be noted that she died upon the opening of the First Vatican Council. [2] [3] Her remains were deemed to be incorrupt in 1955 upon exhumation and were transferred from Peru back to her homeland of Ecuador until 1972 when moved to her village of Nobol. On 22 August 1998 a shrine in her honor was dedicated in Nobol where her remains now rest. [1]


Her remains in Ecuador. Cuerpo de Narcisa de Jesus en Altar.JPG
Her remains in Ecuador.

Upon her death the cities that she had dwelt in came to revere and acclaim her as a saint while the Dominican nuns she had lived with preserved her remains at their Peru convent. The cause for her canonization later commenced with the beginning of the informative process tasked with collecting documentation from 26 September 1961 until the process was closed on 10 July 1962 at which stage her writings received theological approval on 8 July 1965. The officials in charge of the cause sent a large Positio dossier to Rome to the Congregation for Rites for investigation before historians approved the cause on 8 May 1974. The formal introduction to the cause came under Pope Paul VI on 27 September 1975 and she became titled as a Servant of God as a result. Theologians met to discuss the cause on 24 July 1984 but did not come up with a clear consensus so met again on 20 December 1984 where the group approved the cause. The members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved the cause as well on 16 June 1987. Martillo became titled as Venerable on 23 October 1987 after Pope John Paul II acknowledged the fact that she had lived a model life of heroic virtue.

One miracle was required for her to be beatified and it had to be a healing that science and medicine could not explain. One such case arose and was investigated in a diocesan tribunal before the findings were submitted to the competent officials in Rome for further investigation. The C.C.S. validated this process on 30 June 1984 while a panel of medical experts approved the miraculous nature of this healing on 27 June 1991. Theologians approved it as well on 20 December 1991 after confirming the miracle came as a result of Martillo's intercession while the C.C.S. approved the findings of both bodies on 18 February 1992. John Paul II approved this miracle on 7 March 1992 and beatified her in Saint Peter's Square on 25 October 1992.

The second and final miracle needed for full sainthood was investigated in the diocese of its origin before it received C.C.S. validation on 4 October 2002 upon all documents being submitted to them in Rome. The medical experts approved this miracle on 18 January 2006 as did the theologians on 4 April 2006 and the C.C.S. on 19 December 2006. Pope Benedict XVI approved this miracle on 1 June 2007 and formalized the date at a gathering of cardinals on 1 March 2008; Benedict XVI canonized Martillo on 12 October 2008.


The miracle that led to her beatification was the healing of Juan Pesántez Peñaranda who was single and working in banana plantations in Pasaje in El Oro. He was working when a banana stalk struck him in the head and caused several tumors to appear which repeated surgeries in 1967 could not cure. He was just over 20 at the time and didn't believe in miracles. He was at the Luis Vernanza Hospital when he met a policeman who suggested he write "Narcisita" on a piece of paper. He was skeptical that this would bring results but did this and had a dream of her that night which also caused him to be cured of his tumors.

The miracle that led to her sainthood was the healing of Edelmina Arellano who was cured from a congenital defect in 1992. Edelmina was born without genital organs and at the age of seven was cured after her mother took her to the shrine dedicated to the then-Blessed and appealed for her intercession. It was mere hours later that the child had an appointment with her doctor who testified that the girl was normal like all other children with no defects apparent whatsoever. [4]

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  3. 1 2 3 4 "Saint Narcisa de Jesús". Santi e Beati. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Ecuador awaits canonization of 19th century Blessed". Catholic News Agency. 19 January 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2017.