Born under Our Lady’s Mantle | Sr. Maria Francisco, O.P.

Sr. Maria Francisco was born right under the shadow of our Lady’s mantle at Guadalupe in Mexico City. Her childhood was a series of adventures, moving from one country to another, and back again to Mexico; learning new languages, and skipping two grades in school. Sister’s grandmother taught her how to pray and had a huge influence on her spiritual life.

Sr. Maria Francisco: There are two things I realized that kind of stayed the same no matter where we moved. The first one was math.  Math it seemed like it didn’t change. The second thing that didn’t change was the Mass.  That never changed no matter where we were.

Sr. Joseph Andrew: Welcome, Sr. Maria Francisco – please tell us about your family, faith, and general background.

Sr. Maria Francisco: Well, I was born in Mexico City.  We moved into [my grandmother’s] house shortly after I was born and we always took care of her.  She was always such a good example. She’s the one who taught me how to pray.  We lived only a few blocks away from a church run by Dominican priests, St. Rose of Lima.  You could hear the bells before Mass and the rosary, so you’d always know it was time to pray.   In the month of May, we would pray the Rosary every day and they would have a procession to Our Lady of Guadalupe.  So, we’re very devotional in Mexico –

We actually moved around a lot. When I was five we moved to England [and] lived there for a year.  I did first grade in England and [then] we moved back and I finished elementary school in Mexico.  And then when I was twelve, we moved back to England, so I did eighth grade in England [while my dad finished his course work for his PhD.] and then we moved to Minnesota for [my dad’s] job.

A lot of it was very different from Mexico, as you can imagine. But, it really was such a gift to be able to obviously learn the language and experience a new culture. But one of the things that my grandma said before we moved was she could tell that we were going to move around a lot in our lives and she said, “You know the most beautiful flowers are the ones that bloom no matter where they were planted.” She told me, “that’s what you have to do – so no matter where you end up just bloom.”

Sr. Joseph Andrew: Sister, I have a big question to ask you. Would you please consent to come back again? I really did want to hear your early years in Mexico and how you were brought all over the place – you kept moving! Yet it was the solidity of the Mass and math that made you feel at home.

We will have her back again. Okay, and so I really want to thank you for joining us today and to say it isn’t Sr. Maria Francisco beautiful. And as soon as she comes back, you’ll get to know the rest of her story, which is also very powerful and very beautiful. So God bless you, and thank you so much.

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