Asunción (Paraguay). From Salesian education to the commitment in Catholic Action and then to the enclosure of the Daughters of Saint Teresa of Avila. It is the journey of Mary Felicia of the Sacramental Jesus, Maria Felicia Guggiari Echeverría, affectionately called by her father “Chiquitunga” because of her minute physique. She is beatified by Cardinal Angelo Amato, representing Pope Francis, on 23 June 2018, in the Nueva Olla stadium in Asunción, in Paraguay.

Maria Felicia was born in Paraguay on 12 January 1925 in Villarica of the Holy Spirit, the first of seven children of Ramón Guggiari and Arminda María Echeverría. She was baptized on February 8, 1928 in her hometown. From childhood she showed splendid human and spiritual qualities, such as cheerfulness, sociability, helpfulness, simplicity, modesty, which manifested themselves in simple but eloquent actions. At the age of five she entered Mary Help of Christians School of Villarica, where she learned to love the mother of Jesus and to entrust herself to her every day. The Virgin occupied a very important place in her life; she called her “my mother, full of grace” and said: “I just want to belong to you, Mommy, so that you, taking me by the hand like a little girl, will bring me to Him, the only one, the exclusive love of my heart”.

She had a special friendship with Ángel Sauá Llanes, graduate in Medicine and a member of Catholic Action like her, who confided to her his desire to become a priest. After the meeting with Mother Teresa Margherita of the Sacred Heart, prioress of the first Paraguayan Carmel, she began to understand what her vocation was: at thirty she entered the Carmelite Convent of Asunción and took the name of Sister Maria Felicia of the Sacramental Jesus. In January 1959 she discovered that she was ill with infectious hepatitis. She offered her condition with the same generosity that had seen her engaged in the apostolate and with which she gave up her feelings for her friend. She died on April 28, 1959, at age 34. Since April 28, 1993, her mortal remains rest in the chapel of the Carmelo of Asunción.

She was declared Venerable on March 27, 2010. On March 6, 2018, Pope Francis authorized the promulgation of the decree relative to a miracle obtained through her intercession. The Beatification of Chiquitunga was on June 23, 2018 at Asuncion.

She is a life model for all the youth of Paraguay. “I offer everything to You, Lord” was the motto of Sr. Maria Felicia, who truly and heroically gave her whole self for the Church, both in the poor and in the priests, whom she hoped would become His dear friends.

Pope Francis said to the young Paraguayans on July 12, 2015, referring to Chiquitunga: “She, like so many others, shows us that the path of the Beatitudes is a path of fullness, a possible, real journey that fills the heart. They are our friends and models who have now finished playing on this “field”, but they become those indispensable players that one observes to give the best of oneself. They are proof that Jesus is not a “seller of smoke”, that His proposal is of fullness. But above all, it is a proposal of friendship, of true friendship, the friendship we all need “.

Beata Maria Felicia di Gesù Sacramentato


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