Blessed María del Tránsito de Jesús Sacramentado

Blessed María del Tránsito de Jesús SacramentadoAlso known as

  • María Cabanillas
  • María del Tránsito Cabanillas
  • María del Transito Eugenia de los Dolores Cabanillaswas
  • María del Tránsito Of Jesus In The Blessed Sacrament



Third child born to Felipe Cabanillas and Francisca Antonia Luján Sánchez. Raised in a large, wealthy and pious family; she had ten siblings, three of whom died in childhood, one brother became a priest, three sisters nuns. Educated at home and then at Cordoba, Argentina where she studied and helped care for her seminarian younger brother until his ordination in 1853.

Maria’s father died in 1850, and the rest of the family moved to Cordoba, living near the church of San Roque. Maria stayed at home, helping her mother with the children, maintaining a personal piety and devotion to the Eucharist, working as a catechist, and visiting the poor and sick of Cordoba. Maria’s mother died on 13 April 1858.

With her family grown or gone, Maria now felt free to pursue her religious vocation, and she entered the Franciscan Third Order at age 37, devoting more of her day to prayer. In 1871 she met Mrs Isidora Ponce de León who was building a Carmelite monastery in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 1872 Maria moved to Buenos Aries, and entered the monastery on 19 March 1873. For health reasons, she was forced to leave the cloister in April 1874. In September 1874 she entered the convent of the Sisters of the Visitation in Montevideo, Uruguay, but had to leave there in a few months due to her continuing health problems.

During this time of turmoil and rejection of her perceived vocation, Maria began again to ponder an idea that had followed her all her life – an education and assistance foundation to help children. Several Franciscans encouraged her, and Father Agustin Garzón offered her a house and his help and contacts. She obtained approval for the project on 8 December 1878, and with her companions Teresa Fronteras and Brigida Moyano, and Bother Cirlaco Porreca as director, she started the Congregation of the Franciscan Tertiary Missionaries of Argentina, dedicated to helping the poor, orphaned and abandoned. The three women made their religious profession on 2 February 1879, and their institute became offically affiliated with the Franciscans on 28 January 1880.

The new Congregation met with immediate success in vocations – the Argentinian colleges of Saint Margarite of Cortona in San Vicente, El Carmen in Rio Cuarto, and Immaculate Conception in Villa Nueva were founded during Maria’s lifetime. The work, however, ruined her already frail health, and she died within six years.





Additional Information


“Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (Luke 24:32). This surprising confession of the disciples who first walked to Emmaus is what happened with the vocation of Mother María del Tránsito Cabanillas de Jesús Sacramentado, foundress of the Third Order Franciscan Missionaries and the first Argentinian woman to be beatified. The flame that burned in her heart brought María del Tránsito to seek intimacy with Christ in the contemplative life. She was not deterred when on account of bad health she had to abandon the monasteries where she was living, but continued with a confidence and abandonment to the divine will which she followed on her constant quest. The Franciscan ideal then appeared as the true way that God wanted for her and, aided by wise directors, she undertook a life of poverty, humility, patience and charity, giving rise to a new religious family. – from the beatification homily by Pope John Paul II

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed María del Tránsito de Jesús Sacramentado“. CatholicSaints.Info. 11 March 2019. Web. 24 June 2021. <>