Blessed Laura Vicuna (1891-1904)
Laura Carmen Vicuna was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1891. When her father died suddenly, her mother took Laura and her sister to Argentina. In 1900 Laura entered a school run by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. The following year she made her first Holy Communion and, like Dominic Savio, she made resolutions to love God with all her strength, to do penance and die rather than sin, to make Jesus more widely known and to make reparation for sins against him.
When she realised that her mother was living in a sinful situation, she offered herself to the Lord to bring about her conversion; she increased her penances and, with the permission of her confessor, took private vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Worn out by sacrifices and sickness she confided in her mother “Mummy, I am dying! Some time ago I asked Jesus to bring you back to God and I offered my life for you… Mummy, before I die, can I have the joy of seeing you turn back to him?” Her request was granted and she died peacefully on the evening of 22nd January 1904.
Her remains are in the chapel of the Salesian Sisters at Bahia Blanca, Argentina. Laura, whose life was a poem of innocence, daughterly love and sacrifice, was beatified on 3rd September 1988 at Colle Don Bosco, near Castelnuovo, Asti.