St. Mariam Baouardy

April 25, 2022

Born on the 5th of January 1846 in the small village of Ibillin. Mariam was born to two Greek Catholic parents, with her father being George Baouardy and her mother Mariam Baouardy. George and Mariam had previously had twelve boy children who had not survived their infancy stage. They decided to go on a pilgrimage to deal with the trauma and pain. The purpose of this pilgrimage was to pray for a daughter which they would dedicate to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Their prayer was granted, but they didn’t have the opportunity to see her grow as Mariam’s parents tragically died of a mysterious disease when she was three years old. This left her as an orphan along with her brother Boulos. Mariam was adopted by her uncle and enjoyed a childhood of comfort and security. However, things changed in her late childhood when she was meant to be a bride in a prearranged marriage. She refused to marry, instead choosing to devote her life to the Blessed Virgin of Mary whom she declared she would serve for all her life. Persecution shortly followed as she was harshly treated by her uncle, which led her to seek refuge elsewhere. Mariam was almost killed when a Muslim tried to convert her but failed and in his rage, slit her throat and left her for dead. What she remembered next was a nun who picked her up, sewed the wound shut and took care of her for a month, before leaving her in a church.

Mariam later moved to France where her religious life began. She joined the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition where she served for 2 years before being asked to leave as she did not receive enough votes to serve as a novice. This was further compounded by the lack of acceptance by the community as many found her to be mysterious. Mariam transferred to the Carmel of Pau where she was accepted in June 1867 and received the name St. Mary of Jesus Crucified. Mariam had mystical experiences where she levitated in some instances and the stigmata began manifesting in her. Her journey led her to a Carmel in Bangalore, India before she returned to Pau and eventually founded a Carmel in the Holy Land of Bethlehem. She became ill in the process due to a fall that badly injured her arm and led to a gangrenous wound that infected her respiratory system. She eventually passed away on August 26th, 1878.


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