Question Time by Fr John Flader
A friend recently lent me a book by a Spanish nun named Sr Josefa Menendez, which I am finding inspirational. I would like to know whether she and her writings have been approved by the Church.
SR Josefa and her writings have been approved by the Church and, what is more, her cause of beatification has been opened.
I will say something about her life in this column and about her messages in the next.
Sr Josefa was born in Madrid on February 4, 1890.
She felt called by God to the religious life and, after many trials, in 1920 she entered the French convent of Les Feuillants in Poitiers as a Coadjutrix Sister of the Society of the Sacred Heart at the age of 29.
She died there less than four years later.
Sr Josefa carried out her tasks in the convent with great grace and humility.
When over the course of the next four years she received many revelations from God, she retired all the more into a deep sense of littleness and unworthiness.
Her superiors had rarely seen anyone more obedient and docile, ever ready to submit to their authority and to sacrifice herself.
Sr Josefa was mentally sound and strong, simple in her life of piety.
The special graces and gifts she received from God, whose weight was often crushing, purified her.
Some of the extraordinary visions and revelations shook her to the core and at times required an almost superhuman endurance, convincing her superiors that they were truly from God.
Among her trials were temptations from the devil to doubt God’s voice and her own religious vocation, but she remained strong and resisted the temptations.
Among her other sufferings were being taken to hell numerous times, where she spent long hours in unspeakable agony, suffering bodily pains and hearing the cries of hatred, despair and pain of the damned.
After those experiences she looked on suffering, no matter how severe, as little to bear if by it she could save a soul from hell.
As if this weren’t enough, she also had visions of the passion and death of Our Lord, suffering in her body the same pains that Christ did.
In spite of all this she humbly went about her normal daily routine in the convent.
Under obedience Sr Josefa wrote down her revelations day by day.
They were published in 1938 at Toulouse under the title Un Appel à l’Amour by the Apostleship of Prayer.
Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, later to become Pope Pius XII, wrote a foreword for the book.
A second, more complete edition entitled The Way of Divine Love was published some years later.
The authenticity of her account is attested to by her superior and her spiritual director Father Boyer, OP.
Sr Josefa died on December 29,1923, at the age of 33.
The Way of Divine Love, published in Milwaukee in 1972, bears the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur of that archdiocese.
There are recent editions of the book published by TAN and Baronius.