Oil Dedicated to Venerable Maria Montserrat Grases Garcia
Venerable Maria Montserrat Grades was a Spanish secular member of Opus Dei. Grases became part of Opus Dei on 24 December 1957 after she discerned whether or not her path would allow her to join their ranks.
The cause for her beatification commenced after her death on 19 December 1962 thus making her known as a Servant of God while the confirmation of her heroic virtue on 26 April 2016 allowed for Pope Francis to title Grases as Venerable.
María Montserrat Grases García was born in Barcelona on 10 July 1941 as the second of nine children to Manuel Grases and Manolita García. Her baptism was celebrated on 19 July in the church of Nuestra Señora del Pilar. People knew her with affection as “Montse”. Her parents sought to create a climate in which sincere faith was fostered with great respect for their children’s freedom.
In late 1942 she suffered from bronchitis but remedies failed to work promoting constant care for her condition which improved and gone in the summer of 1943. On 11 June 1944 – with her brothers Jorge and Enrique – she received her Confirmation at the parish of Santa María. Grases made her First Communion on 27 May 1948.
In October 1946 she began her schooling. And in 1951 commenced her high school education under the care of nuns. Once she graduated from her high school education she continued her studies at the Professional College for Women. In Barcelona while alternating that with piano courses. Grases liked sport and music as well as traditional local dances. Her favorite dance was the “sardanas”. Her friends would go with her on frequent trips to the poor regions to teach catechism to children and often bought them sweets.
Grases liked netball and tennis as well as outings with friends and participating in theatrical works. Grases also climbed mountains near Seva where she liked to spend her summers and also liked ping-pong. In 1951 she awarded a prize after winning a bike race. In 1954 she had her first encounter with Opus Dei. But knew of them beforehand since her parents had joined in 1952. Her mother encouraged her to visit an Opus Dei center. That offered classes to girls to help strengthen her faith and her spiritual life.
In June 1958 she diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in one leg after having experienced great pain for several months. Once the news had broken to her she heard singing a Mexican song later on 27 June in Llar.