Today’s Saint

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May 28 | Spiritual Direction

Saint Mariana of Jesus

A.D. 1618–1645



Excellence in any field requires coaching. 

Coaches see things we don't, and they are able to hold us accountable. The best coaches see our true potential and inspire us to reach it. Just like we need coaching in golf and tennis, at work and in our relationships, we also need spiritual coaching. Thankfully, priests have given their lives to provide us with spiritual coaching. Who is your spiritual coach?

Most people don’t know where to begin when it comes to seeking spiritual coaching. Jesus gave a clear answer. When he instituted the Sacrament of Confession, Jesus was acting as the Divine Psychologist. He knew that we have a deep need to confess our sins, but also to receive spiritual direction so that we can improve on our weaknesses and discover who God made us to be.

Saint Mariana of Jesus discovered God’s dream for her through discussions with her confessor and spiritual director. 

Mariana was born in 1618 in Quito, Ecuador. She took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience at the age of ten, but she did not enter a convent. Instead, under the guidance of her spiritual director, a Jesuit priest, she became a solitary consecrated woman and lived in her sister’s home. Mariana spent much of her time in the local Jesuit church, and many hours with her spiritual director, who was also her confessor. 

Mariana already had many spiritual gifts, like curing diseases and predicting the future, but needed advice from her director on when and how to use them. Her Jesuit spiritual director encouraged her to become a Franciscan of the Third Order, which she did.

When earthquakes and a plague broke out in Ecuador, Mariana felt God was calling her to do something special for the healing of her homeland. She had learned from her spiritual director how to listen closely to the voice of God, and now she knew what God was asking of her. She asked God to let her personally take on all the pain of her city, if in return he would stop the plague. It worked. The plague subsided, but once it did, Mariana herself caught the disease. Saint Mariana of Jesus died on May 26, 1645, at the age of 26. 

Going to confession and getting a spiritual director is rarely as visibly dramatic as this. But it is just as powerful for each and every one of us. 

We all do things that affect us deeply, physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and psychologically. It’s time to let it go in confession. Let Jesus, the Divine Psychologist, work through your confessor and give you spiritual direction. You’ll progress a lot faster down the spiritual path than you would alone.

WHAT PRIEST DO I KNOW WHO WOULD MAKE A GOOD SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR? HOW MIGHT MY LIFE CHANGE IF I HAD A SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR?

I will find a good spiritual director.


This reflection is brought to you from book title.


Patron Saint of: Ecuador, the Americas, Bodily Ills, Loss of Parents, People Rejected by Religious Orders, and Sickness

Also Known As: The Lily of Quito

Symbols: Lilies and a Skull

Feast Day: May 28

Feast Day Shared By: Saint Germain

Canonized: July 9, 1950

Canonized By: Pope Pius XII

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