Mary Therese Vicente


Mary Therese Vicente, H.F.J.
Title Mother Superior
Victorina Laxamana Vicente

(1921-03-23)March 23, 1921

Died June 7, 1995(1995-06-07) (aged 74)

Quiapo, Manila, Philippines
Resting place Holy Face Chapel, Quiapo, Manila, Philippines
Religion Catholic
Nationality Filipino
Parents Maximino Vicente and Crispina Laxamana
Notable work(s) Sisters of the Holy Face of Jesus (Founder and Superior)
Monastic name Mary Therese of the Holy Face of Jesus
Order Sisters of the Holy Face of Jesus (former Carmelite)
Senior posting
Period in office 1986–1995

Mary Therese Vicente (March 23, 1921 – June 7, 1995) was a Filipino Roman Catholic nun who through her devotion to the Holy Face led her to the foundation of Sisters of the Holy Face of Jesus.[1]

Early life [ edit ]

Victorina was born on March 23, 1921 at Quiapo, Manila. She was the seventh and the only daughter among the eleven children of the sculptor, Maximo Vicente Sr. and Crispina Laxamana. From her pious parents, she inherited an iron determination to be at the service of the Lord.

At age four, Vicente experienced a very serious and potentially fatal fever but according to the Memoirs of Mother Therese, she was given Lourdes water, by a celadora of Lourdes Church which is stated to have saved her life.

From 1928 to 1938, Victorina had formal schooling at the Colegio de Santa Rosa, Intramuros, where she finished with honors. While at the Colegio de Santa Rosa, her family's househelp often brought her medicine, and the nuns at the institution often gave her extra merienda or food due to her poor health. She graduated in 1941 with the degree in commerce from the University of Santo Tomas.

Missionary career [ edit ]

Legion of Mary [ edit ]

Victorina was among the earliest members of the Legion of Mary in the Philippines. Her efficiency and courage made her an indispensable and that of the other pioneers during the war years.

During World War II, she was not hesitant to visit the slums. In 1942, Vicente was made Curia President. As president she traveled in different locations in Manila from Quiapo, Binondo and Santa Cruz despite the Japanese invasion and occupation. She organized the Inter Parish Catechetical Convention. She also extend the Legion in Pampanga. In one incident, she rode a truck with the Hukbalahap rebels and according to her she was not mistreated due to her being able to speak Kapangpangan. Vicente was able to establish the first Praesidia in a territory occupied by the Huks.

As a Discalced Carmelite [ edit ]

Despite the opposition of many, Victorina entered the Discalced Carmelite nuns. On February 2, 1947 at the Carmelite monastery in Lipa, Batangas, she received the name Sister Mary Therese of the Sacred Heart after her favorite saint, Therese of Lisieux.

During her stay at the Carmelite monastery in Lipa, she was fortunate to witness the miracles and the said apparitions of the Blessed Virgin as Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces to the postulant, Teresita Castillo. In 1956, she was transferred to the monastery of Angeles City and appointed as sub-prioress.

Sisters of the Holy Face [ edit ]

Moved by a mystical experience she was permitted to leave the Carmelites. Arriving in Naga City on August 5, 1966, she assisted Archbishop Teopisto Alberto as first superior and formator of the Daughters of Mary, Mother of the Church. She was actively engaged in social action apostolate of the archdiocese when she was assigned to the convent of Quiapo, which was to become the Holy Face center.

In 1977, she assisted Bishop Pedro Bantigue in forming the Missionaries of the Holy Face. She was likewise the first formator of the Daughters of Saint Joseph of Masbate and the organizer of the Crusaders of the Holy Face, a lay organization. In order for her to be in better service in Quiapo, she left the Daughters of Mary, and on October 1, 1986, she herself founded the Sisters of the Holy Face of Jesus of Perpetual Adoration and served as its superior until her death.

Later life and death [ edit ]

Vicente got seriously ill in April 1995 due to complications from diabetes, affecting her heart. She died on June 7, 1995. A wake was conducted for seven days and was buried on June 13, 1995 at the Manila Memorial in Sucat, Parañaque. On June 13, 2012, her remains was exhumed and transferred to the Holy Face Chapel of the Sisters of the Holy Face of Jesus in Quiapo, Manila. There have been calls for her to be proclaimed a saint.[2]

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ "Sisters of the Holy Face of Jesus: Our Foundress".
  2. ^ "Mo. Mary Therese Vicente of the Holy Face of Jesus".
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