mfanimated 2


Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life. The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions. It disposes one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause. “The Lord is my strength and my song.” “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Mother Francisca was not a stranger to the sufferings of the Cross. Like the Crucified Lord, she experienced humiliation and rejection.

The first experience of suffering was, when the Beatas especially Mother Francisca started to urge Fr. Juan de Sto. Domingo about the Beaterio, an idea that was far from his thoughts. And because he was of the contrary opinion he would always say no to the idea yet she stood firm and strong. Inspite of the opposition of Fr. Juan, Mother Francisca courageously pressed on Fr. Juan de Sto. Domingo about the Beaterio. Out of his anger, he told her she was “impertinente” for she would not give in to his reasons. At the end, everything happened as she has said it would.

Another painful experience for Mother Francisca came from her own sisters. Temptations to abandon their vocation disturbed their relationships. Fidelity to prayer life weakened and some gave in to distractions brought about by long, gossipy chatter with visitors. Mother Francisca did not consent to the neglect of the observance of the rules of the community. Her great care in this practice exasperated some “Beatas” who turned cold to the fulfillment of their duties as religious. The Mother was obliged to reprimand them, because their conduct required it. Our Lord, however, permitted her patience to be tested further, for the discontented Beatas judged Mother Francisca as harsh and over-rigorous. One of them complained to the Archbishop of the extreme sternness of Mother Francisca. The whole affair would lead to the Beatas’ expulsion and to the Beaterio. They packed off to exile in tears, told to divest of their religious habits and dispensed from their vows.

This was a severe blow dealt on the foundress, who saw destroyed in a moment what took years to build. Inspite of this affliction, Mother Francisca showed herself courageously patient and tolerant.

Another humbling experience of Mother Francisca was she and the Beatas were caught in the middle of quarreling ecclesiastical authorities. Great was her pain on being denied the Eucharist as a result of the excommunication by the Archbishop of Manila, yet faced trials with courage.

On one occasion Mother Francisca complained to Fr. Juan that many Beatas no longer felt obliged to obey her since they had been dispensed from their vows, yet she stood firm bearing the pain of rejection with firmness.

However, in the end, her patient endurance and courage to trials were rewarded.