Saint María Micaela of the Blessed Sacrament

Saint Micaela Desmaisières López de Dicastillo; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Micaela Desmaisières López de Dicastillo
  • Maria Micaela Desmaisieres
  • Maria Michela Desmaisières of the Blessed Sacrament
  • María de la Soledad, Micaela, Agustina, Antonia, Bibiana, Desmaissières y López de Dicastillo, Vizcondesa de Jorbalán



The daughter of Miguel Desmaisières y Flores, a high-ranking officer in the Spanish army, and Bernarda López de Dicastillo y Olmeda, a lady-in-waiting to Queen Maria Luisa de Parma of Spain; her mother was known for her charity to the sick and poor. Her mother died when Micaela was a young girl; her brother Diego was a Spanish ambassador, she often travelled with him, and thus she grew up in the circles of the Spanish and French nobility, the courts of the kings of Spain, France and Belgium. She was educated by Uruslines, and served as catechist to younger children. She received the title of Viscountess of Jorbalán. But even in the whirl of worldly life, she felt a pull to religious life, refused all the many offers of marriage, and spent much time in Eucharistic Adoration.

On 6 February 1844 she had experience that help her choose her final vocation. At the Saint John of God Hospital in Madrid, Spain, she met a girl, the daughter of a banker, who had been briefly drawn into prostitution; she had became an outcast and faced a life of poverty. Micaela used her social connections to get the funds to establish a home for women of any station in life who had fallen into prostitution as their only way to survive. More than just a shelter, the women received religious and secular educations. There were so many in need of help that Micaela was soon overwhelmed, and on 1 March 1856 officially founded the an order of sisters, the Handmaids of the Blessed Sacrament and of Charity, to work with the women. Saint Anthony Mary Claret became her confessor in 1857. The Handmaids were approved by Pope Pius IX in 1860. Micaela served as their leader until she contracted a fatal bout of cholera while caring for sick women, including many of her Handmaid sisters.






MLA Citation

  • “Saint María Micaela of the Blessed Sacrament“. CatholicSaints.Info. 24 August 2016. Web. 23 October 2016. <>