Decree of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints Recognizing the Heroic Virtues and the Reputation for Holiness of the Servant of God María Montserrat Grases García (April 24, 2016)
CONGREGATIO DE CAUSIS SANCTORUM
BEATIFICATIONIS et CANONIZATIONIS
MARIAE MONTSERRAT GRASES GARCÍA
PRAELATURAE PERSONALIS SANCTAE CRUCIS ET OPERIS DEI
DECRETUM SUPER VIRTUTIBUS
“Filia sum Dei”. “Quidquid Tu vis, quando Tu vis, eo modo quo Tu vis”. “Omnia in bonum”.
Tres hae breves precationes, quas Serva Dei Maria Montserrat Grases frequenter recitare solebat, iter eius spirituale summatim perstringunt. Vivida enim conscientia filiationis divinae ipsa ducebatur ad Dei Patris voluntatem amandam et adimplendam, cum plene persuasum sibi esset quidquid a Domino recipimus nostrum in bonum semper vertere.
Maria Montserrat Grases García, familiariter Montse vocata, secunda ex novem filiis Emmanuelis Grases et Emmanuelae García, nata est Barcinone in Hispania die 10 mensis Iulii anni 1941 et novem post dies baptismum recepit.
Infantiam et adolescentiam Dei Serva degit in ambitu sereno familiae christianis principiis plene imbutae. Parentes enim, Operis Dei fideles, iuxta doctrinam Sancti Iosephmariae Escrivá, e domo sua efficere contenderunt christianum larem luminosum et laetum.
Expletis studiis secundariis et frequentatis quoque lectionibus ad plectrocymbalum pulsandum, Maria Montserrat in Schola Professionali publica sese inscripsit. Ei arridebant ludi lusorii, silvestres deambulationes, musica, saltationes populares regionis eius et ludi scaenici. Multi ei erant amici.
Parentes Servam Dei docuerunt cum Iesu Christo fiducialiter se gerere et haud parum contulerunt efformandis praecipuis animi eius lineamentis, qualia sunt laetitia, simplicitas, suipsius oblivio, sollicitudo de aliorum bono materiali ac spirituali. Adolescens, comitantibus aliquibus condiscipulis, visitare solebat familias pauperes Barcinonenses et catechesim pueris impertiebat, quibus aliquando puerilia ludicra vel dulcia donabat.
Vivax erat ac simplex, et si quando acerbe respondebat, testantibus familiaribus ac magistris, ipsa adnitebatur ut mores suos emendaret utque se erga omnes affabilem et festivam exhiberet.
Anno 1954, suggerente matre, frequentare coepit sedem Operis Dei in qua christiana et humana formatio puellis impertiebatur. Paulatim percepit se a Deo vocari ut viam hanc ecclesialem sequeretur et, consultis parentibus, post attentam ponderationem et orationem, die 24 mensis Decembris anni 1957, quaesivit ut in Opere Dei ascriberetur, se totam tradens Deo in “apostolico caelibatu”.
Ex eo vero tempore, Dei Serva impensius usque atque perseverantius sanctitatem quaesivit in vita sua ordinaria. Ipsa sibi proposuit cotidianum ordinem vitae spiritualis qui complectebatur sanctae Missae participationem, Rosarii marialis recitationem, lectionem Novi Testamenti necnon alicuius libri de re spirituali aliasque pias praxes. Coluit quoque profundum spiritum paenitentiae etiam in corporis mortificationibus sponte assumendis atque in diei decursu Deo offerebat tum parva sed frequentia sacrificia tum nisus ad sui animi asperitates moderandas.
Firmum quoque ac constans fuit desiderium eius ducendi ad Deum amicas et collegas. Cotidiana adiuncta et vel ipsi ludus lusorii occasionem ei praebebant ut se pro aliis impenderet eisque transmitteret pacem illam quae ex unione cum Deo oritur.
Mense Decembri, anno 1957, dum Maria Montserrat in monte nive strato cum amicis ambulabat, cecidit et ictum in genu accepit, qui primo aspectu visus est res nullius momenti, attamen, dolore non cessante, immo ingravescente, et consultis medicis, tandem mense Iunio anni 1958 diagnosis lata est tumoris maligni dicti Ewing in femore cruris sinistri. Servae Dei parentes notum eidem reddiderunt se hoc morbo insanabili et infaustae prognosis affectam esse; ipsa vero notitiam accepit animo sereno ac spiritu supernaturali, pergens in nisu placendi Deo in ordinariis vitae suae cotidianae adiunctis.
Procedente tempore dolores magis magisque augebantur et Maria Montserrat molestias quas patiebatur Deo offerebat pro Ecclesia, pro Romano Pontifice, pro Opere Dei et pro multis intentionibus quae a parentibus et amicis eidem suggerebantur. Magis de aliis quam de seipsa erat sollicita, neque unquam se praebuit commiserandam, immo eius gaudium in alios effundebatur. Qui eam invisebant ad Deum impulsos se sentiebant fueruntque testes progressionis Mariae Montserrat in unione cum Deo atque transformationis eiusdem dolorum in orationem et apostolatum, nempe in viam versus sanctitatem. Amica quaedam asseruit se intimitatem cum Christo conspicari cum eam orantem videbat.
Ex quo admissionem in Opus Dei postulavit, iter versus sanctitatem medias inter res temporales Dei Serva ita intento studio arripuit, ut aegritudo eam paratam inveniret ad heroicitatis fastigium attingendum in exercendis virtutibus dum dolores in dies augebantur.
Maria Montserrat animam Deo placide reddidit Feria V in Coena Domini, die 26 mensis Martii anni 1959. Duos post dies sepulta est et anno 1994 eius exuviae translatae sunt in cryptam oratorii Sanctae Mariae de Bonaigua, ubi nunc inveniuntur.
Iam ab initio multa fuerunt testimonia de sanctitatis fama Servae Dei, quae nunc diffusa invenitur plures in nationes. Frequentes quoque notitiae perveniunt de gratiis et favoribus eiusdem intercessioni tributis.
Maria Montserrat mortua est adhuc adolescens, decimo octavo suae aetatis anno nondum expleto. Hac brevitate non obstante, vita eius habita est ut Dei donum sive ab iis qui eam frequentaverunt sive etiam ab aliis qui eiusdem notitiam serius acceperunt, quia ipsa muneribus suis ordinariis amore pervasa erga Deum et animas functa est, et sua pietate, suo vultu hilari atque laeto suaque simplici et heroica generositate, multas animas ad Iesum Christum duxit. Plena eius ac praecox responsio ad vocem Dei amoris plenam exemplum exstat quod multos iuvare poterit, iuvenes praesertim, ut persentiant pulchritudinem sequendi Christum in ordinaria cuiusque vita.
Processus Informativus super fama sanctitatis, virtutum in genere et miraculorum instructus fuit in arcidioecesi barcinonensi ab anno 1962 ad annum 1968. Novis vero promulgatis normis de canonizationis causis, anno 1993 ab archiepiscopo barcinonensi postulatum est ut commissionem peritorum in re historica nominaret ad documenta colligenda et processum dioecesanum additionalem instrueret.
Congressus Peculiaris Consultorum Theologorum, qui locum habuit die 30 mensis Iunii anno 2015, affirmative respondit ad dubium propositum circa heroicitatem virtutum et famam sanctitatis Servae Dei. Me, Card. Angelo Amato, moderante, sententiam faventem tulerunt Em.mi ac Exc.mi in Sessione Ordinaria coadunati die 19 mensis Aprilis anno 2016.
Facta de hisce omnibus Summo Pontifici Francisco accurata relatione ab infrascripto Cardinali Praefecto, Beatissimus Pater, accipiens rataque habens Congregationis de Causis Sanctorum vota, hodierna die sollemniter declaravit: Constare de virtutibus theologalibus Fide, Spe et Caritate tum in Deum tum in proximum, necnon de cardinalibus Prudentia, Iustitia, Temperantia, Fortitudine, iisque adnexis in gradu heroico, atque de fama sanctitatis Servae Dei Mariae Montserrat (Montse) Grases García, christifidelis laicae Praelaturae Sanctae Crucis et Operis Dei, in casu et ad effectum de quo agitur.
Hoc autem Decretum publici iuris fieri et in acta Congregationis de Causis Sanctorum Summus Pontifex referri mandavit.
Datum Romae, die 26 mensis Aprilis a.D. 2016.
ANGELUS Card. AMATO, S.D.B.
L. + S.
+ MARCELLUS BARTOLUCCI
Archiep. tit. Mevaniensis
This is a translation of the Latin decree of the Curia.
CONGREGATION OF THE CAUSES OF SAINTS
BEATIFICATION AND CANONISATION
OF THE SERVANT OF GOD
MARIA MONTSERRAT GRASES GARCIA
OF THE PERSONAL PRELATURE OF THE HOLY CROSS AND OPUS DEI
DECREE OF VIRTUES
“I am a daughter of God”, “Whenever You want, as You want, and in whatever way You want”, “Omnia in bonum”.
These three aspirations, which María Montserrat Grases often repeated, describe her spiritual journey most fittingly. Her very keen awareness of her divine filiation prompted her to fulfil God the Father’s will lovingly, with the assurance that all that He sends us is always for the best. Maria Monserrat Grases García, known to everyone as Montse, was born in Barcelona, Spain, on the 10th July, 1941 and was baptized nine days later. She was the second of the nine children of Manuel Grases and Manolita García.
The childhood and teenage years of the Servant of God were spent in the peaceful atmosphere of a Christian family. Montse’s parents were both faithful of Opus Dei, who tried to create a bright and cheerful home atmosphere, according to the teachings of St. Josemaría Escrivá.
After completing her secondary education, which she combined with learning to play the piano, Montse joined a professional school. She liked sports, hiking, music, folk dancing and performing in plays. She had many friends, boys and girls.
Her parents taught her to deal with Jesus with a lot of confidence, and helped her bring out the best points of her character: cheerfulness, simplicity, forgetfulness of self, and concern for the spiritual and material good of other people. During her teens, together with some of her study companions, she would visit poor families in Barcelona, and give catechism to the children and sometimes take them toys and sweets. She had a lively, impulsive temperament, and at times her reactions could be a little brusque, although her relatives and teachers recall that she used to struggle to control her feelings and be friendly and jovial with everyone.
In 1954, her mother suggested to her to attend a center of Opus Dei that offered Christian and human formation to young girls. Step by step she realized that God was calling her to the Work and on 24th December, 1957, after meditating, praying and asking her parents’ advice, she asked to join Opus Dei, with total dedication in apostolic celibacy.
From then on, she strove with greater determination and constancy to seek sanctity in her daily life.
She started on an intense daily plan of spiritual life, which included attending Mass, the Holy Rosary, reading of the New Testament and spiritual books, and other practices of piety. In addition, she lived a real spirit of penance, including generous corporal mortifications, offering Our Lord many small sacrifices throughout the day, and struggled to improve her defects of character.
Likewise, she was constant in her zeal to bring her friends and companions closer to God, taking advantage of their daily living and working together. For example, when playing sports, she would be at the service of the others and transmit to them the peace she experienced from living close to God.
In December, 1957, on a mountain excursion, she fell and hurt her knee badly. It didn’t seem serious at the time, but after some days the pain only got worse. After consulting several doctors, in June 1958 they diagnosed an Ewing sarcoma in the femur of the left leg. When her parents told her that her illness was incurable and terminal, Montse took it with immense peace and supernatural outlook, while continuing to seek to please God in her daily life.
Her illness caused her intense and ever-increasing pain. The Servant of God offered her sufferings for the Church, for the Pope, for Opus Dei and for the many specific intentions her relatives and friends asked her to pray for. She thought of her neighbor more than herself, and never complained. On the contrary, her cheerfulness was always infectious. She brought many of those who came to visit her nearer to God. Those who lived with Montse bore witness to how she grew closer to God and how she transformed her suffering into prayer and apostolate: into true sanctity.
From when she asked for admission to Opus Dei, the Servant of God had undertaken a serious quest for sanctity in the middle of the world, so that her illness found her well prepared to live the virtues with complete heroism. She died peacefully on Holy Thursday, 26th March, 1959, and was buried two days later. In 1994, her mortal remains were transferred to the crypt of Santa Maria de Bonaigua, where they now lay.
From the first moment, testimonies of her reputation of holiness –now spread to many countries- and news of graces and favours obtained through her intercession were abundant.
Montse died in the fullness of youth, just before her 18th birthday. Though short, her life was a real gift of God for those who knew her then, and who have come to know her afterwards, because she performed her daily tasks with great love for God and other people. She brought many souls to Jesus with her piety, her smile and her simple, heroic generosity. Her early correspondence to God’s love is an example that will help many people, especially the young, to understand the beauty of following Christ in their daily lives.
The investigative proceedings into the reputation of holiness, the virtues in general and the miracles took place in Barcelona from 1962 to 1968. When new legislation on causes of canonization was promulgated, the Archbishop of Barcelona, after appointing a commission of historical experts to gather relevant documents, asked for additional proceedings, which took place in 1993.
The special Congress of theological consultants, which took place on 30th June, 2015, agreed that the Servant of God had practiced the virtues to a heroic degree. The Ordinary Session of the members of the causes of the Saints, presided by the undersigned, Cardinal Angelo Amato, gave their full assent.
A detailed account was presented to the Supreme Pontiff, Francis, setting out all the stages explained above. The Holy Father, receiving and ratifying the opinion of the Congregation of the Causes of the Saints, with today’s date, has declared solemnly:
From the foregoing, there is sure evidence of the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity, both with God and neighbor, and the cardinal virtues of Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude and their dependent virtues, all of which were lived to a heroic degree, and the reputation of holiness of the Servant of God Maria Montserrat (Montse) Grases Garcia, laywoman of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei.
The Holy Father has decided that this Decree should be published and transcribed in the Acta (records) of the Congregation of the Causes of the Saints.
Given at Rome, the 26th day of the month of April in the year of Our Lord, 2016.
ANGELO Card. AMATO, S.D.B.
Titular Archbishop of Bevagna
Romana, No. 62, January-June 2016, p. 64-71.