- María de Jesús Sacramentado
- María of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament
- Mary of the Blessed Sacrament Venegas de la Torre
- Nati (childhood nickname)
Youngest of twelve children in a pious Bible-reading, Rosary–praying family; her father was an accountant and her mother a homemaker. Natividad was early drawn to prayer and contemplation, and made her first Communion at age 9. Her mother died when Nati was 16. The family moved to Compostela, Nayarit, Mexico for financial reasons, and Nati spent even more time in church and in prayer. Her father died when she was 19, and her paternal uncle and aunt took over care of the children who were still at home.
Nati began teaching local children to read, was very active in parish life, became a catechist, and attended daily Mass. She joined the Daughters of Mary on 8 December 1898, and began discerning a call to religious life. Following an Ignatian retreat, she joined the Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on 8 December 1905; the pious union was dedicated to care of the sick, elderly and abandoned. She worked the next 54 years with the poor and sick in the small Sacred Heart hospital in Guadalajara, Mexico. She served as a nurse, pharmacist, housekeeper, and the community’s accountant and the hospital‘s bookeeper. Chosen Superior General of the Daughters in 1921. By 1924 she had written the formal constitutions of the Order, obtained diocean approval, and is considered the founder of the Congregation. She served as leader of the Daughters for 35 years during which they inceased vocations, opened hospitals and clinics, and founded several houses; she took the name María of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Wrote a number of pieces about her region.
Beginning in 1926, President Plutarco Elías Calles began enforcing anti-clerical laws, seizing Church property, shutting down Church institutions including schools, hospitals, orphanages and homes for the elderly. Mass was prohibited, religious education outlawed, and all bishops were exiled from Mexico; this persecution started the Cristero War. Mother Nati managed to keep Sacred Heart hospital open during the repressions; when soldiers arrived to close it down, she overwhelmed them with kindness, and she and her sisters treated both soldiers and Cristeros, so the military held off enforcing the order to shut her down. Mother Nati insisted that the Eucharist not be removed from the hospital, and to prevent the soldiers from committing sacrilege, it was often hidden in bee hives on their property.
Mother Nati continued working with the patients until her last days, even when she had to get around in a wheelchair. Her final, bed-ridden days were spent in prayer for them, her hospital and her sisters.
- 22 November 1992 by Pope John Paul II
- beatification celebrated in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy
- 21 May 2000 by Pope John Paul II
- first canonized Mexican
- canonization celebrated in Saint Peter’s Square in Rome, Italy
- her canonization miracle involved the healing of Anastasio Ledezma Mora whose heart stopped during surgery, who went into a coma following resuscitation, and was healed following the prayers by the family for the intercession of Mother Nati
- Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Guadalajara
She didn’t live an extraordinary life. She lived an ordinary life in an extraordinary way. – Sister Clara, who worked with Saint Natividad in her final years
The elderly are travelers who we must take care of before their life ends. We must take care of them with all the tenderness possible. – Saint Natividad
Suffering is short. Our joy will be eternal. – Saint Natividad
Those who are merciful with the needy of the world will not lack God’s mercy. – Saint Natividad
The weight of the cross is burdensome for those carrying it, but not for those who embrace it. – Saint Natividad
- “Saint María Natividad Venegas de La Torre“. CatholicSaints.Info. 31 July 2016. Web. 18 January 2017. <>