Oil Dedicated to St Maria Soledad Torres Acosta
St Maria Soledad Torres Acosta from A Blessed Call To Love, Ireland.
María Soledad Torres y Acosta (2 December 1826 – 11 October 1887) – born Manuela – was a Spanish Roman Catholic professed religious and the founder of the Servants of Mary. Her apostolic actions – and those of her order – were dedicated towards the nursing of the sick and the poor in the places that it operated in. Torres’ childhood consisted of the desire to join the religious life and managed to join a priest’s fledgling religious cluster of women after the Dominicans refused to admit her due to her frail constitution. But a series of struggles saw her in a conflicted position of leadership that saw her removed and reinstated twice.
Torres beatified in 1950 and later proclaimed a saint in 1970. Her liturgical feast affixed to the date of her death as the norm. In 2016, a movie produced in Spain (original title: Luz de Soledad) that tells her vocation and the struggles during the early years of her life as founder.
Manuela Torres Acosta was born on 2 December 1826 as the second of five children to Francisco Torres and Antonia Acosta in Madrid; she baptized as “Antonia Bibiana Manuela”. Her parents ran a small business in their home near the Plaza de España.
Torres received her education from the Vincentian Sisters and often visited the sick in her neighborhood. The girl also helped at a free school for the poor that the order managed.
Torres faced several trials throughout her time of leadership in the congregation and soon became the victim of slander. And again removed from her office until Father Sánchez had her reinstated following after another investigation. While establishing a new group of the order in Valencia. She faced the liberalizing government which took control of the empire in the Revolution of 1868. It was around this stage that several of the nuns left the order. But the order continued to grow in number and in 1875 began to serve in Havana. The order received definitive papal approval in 1876 from Pope Pius IX.