mfanimated 2






Article Index

Mother Francisca del Espiritu Santo
Foundress of the Beaterio de Sta. Catalina de Siena

 Sr. Natividad Luno, O.P. (1996)

(A synthesis of Works on the Life of Mother Francisca by Fr. Juan de Sto. Domingo, OP, Fr. Domingo Collantes,OP
Fr. Francisco Gainza, OP, Fr. Joaquin Fonseca, OP and Dr. Florentino Hornedo)

Both Fr. Domingo Collantes, O.P. and Fr. Francisco Gainza, O.P. (1859) two of the biographers of Mother Francisca del Espiritu Santo prefaced their biography of the Venerable Mother by likening her to the "valiant woman so eagerly sought after" by King Solomon in the Book of Proverbs. In the words of Fr. Francisco Gainza,OP "the illustrious Mother, Mother Francisca of the Holy Spirit, foundress of the Beaterio de Sta. Catalina of the City of Manila, Philippine Islands, was an exact portrait of the valiant woman, so eagerly sought after by the wise King Solomon and whose virtues so admirably portrayed in her, were described in the minutest detail and perfection. In the blamelessness of her conduct (says the history of Province, Part 4, Chapter 35, making a fine comparison) and in the face of tribulations one could find a colorful mixture of simplicity and frankness in her pleasing friendliness and great prudence; in the government of the Beaterio one could discover the merciful discretion mingled with prudent economy in the management of her family; in her mercy for the poor and compassion for the needy one could find that extensive heroic generosity', a quality which King Solomon so much admired; and finally in the choice of her religious profession and foundation of the Beaterio one could observe the right circumspection in the buying of the field and eagerness in the establishment of the vineyard." (Gainza, Francisco, OP, Mother Francisca del Espiritu Santo, Foundress of the Beaterio de Sta. Catalina).

Fr. Domingo Collantes, O.P. had this to say among other things. "King Solomon earnestly directed his finest, high-polished praises and eulogies to a mannish matron whose rare fortitude was the object of the wise monarch's admiration ("who shall find a valiant woman..." Proverbs 31:10). He now extolled her thrift and prudent rule and direction of her home and family, or commended her circumspection in the purchase of a lot and in the planting of a vineyard with her utmost efforts and her arduous labor or again he praised her liberality and mercy with the poor and needy, the agreeable blending of red and white in her flowing gamlents and finally the discretion and clemency of her speech. All these admirable assets were detected in wondrous edification in the Venerable Mother Francisca del Espiritu Santo, Foundress of our Beaterio de Santa Catalina de Sena de Manila, for all her actions and toils were always yhe object of high regard. (Fr. Domingo Collantes, OP, Life of the Venerable Mother Francisca del Espiritu Santo, Foundress of the Beaterio de Santa Catalina de Sena)Then Collantes continued to cite Mother Francisca's deeds, attitudes and virtues which proved that the qualities of the valiant woman alluded to by King Solomon could be applied to her.