Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified

photograph of Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified, latter 19th century, photographer unknown; swiped off Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Al Qiddisa
  • Maram Baouardy
  • Maria di Gesu Crocifisso
  • Mariam Baouardy
  • Marie of Jesus Crucified
  • Mary Baouardy
  • Maryam Bawardi
  • The Little Arab



Born to Giries Baouardy and Mariam Shahine, a poor Greek Melchite Catholic family. Twelve of her thirteen brothers died in infancy, and Mary’s birth was an answered prayer to Our Lady. Her parents died when Mary was only two, and she was raised by a paternal uncle. Moved to Alexandria, Egypt at age eight.

Betrothed in an arranged marriage at age 13, she refused to go along with it, insisting on a religious life. As punishment for her disobedience, her uncle hired her out as a domestic servant, making sure she had the lowest and most menial of jobs. A Muslim servant with whom she worked began to act as her friend with an eye to converting her from Christianity. On 8 September 1858, Mary convinced him she would never abandon her faith; in response he cut her throat and dumped her in an alley. Mary lived, an apparition of the Virgin Mary treated her wound, and she left her uncle’s house forever.

She supported herself as a domestic, working for a Christian family and praying. In 1860 she moved in with the Sisters of Saint Joseph. Supernatural events began to occur around her, and the Sisters would not let her join their house. She was taken to the Carmel at Pau by a Sister in 1867, and became a lay sister. Later that year she entered the cloister, taking the name Mary of Jesus Crucified, and making her final profession on 21 November 1871.

She continued to experience supernatural events. She fought off a demonic possession for 40 days, received the stigmata, was seen to levitate, had the gift of prophecy and knowledge of consciences, and permitted her guardian angel to speak through her. Helped found the missionary Carmel of Mangalore, India. Returned to France in 1872. Built a Carmelite monastery in Bethlehem in 1875. Supernatural gifts aside, she was known for her devotion to the Holy Spirit, even sending word to Pope Pius IX that the Spirit was not emphasized enough in seminaries.






Additional Information


Everything passes here on earth. What are we? Nothing but dust, nothingness, and God is so great, so beautiful, so lovable and He is not loved. – Blessed Mary

Holy Spirit, inspire me. Love of God consume me. Along the true road, lead me. Mary, my good mother, look down upon me. With Jesus, bless me. From all evil, all illusion, all danger, preserve me. Blessed Mary

Always remember to love your neighbor; always prefer the one who tries your patience, who test your virtue, because with her you can always merit: suffering is Love; the Law is Love. Blessed Mary

I desire to suffer always and not to die. I should add: this is not my will, it is my inclination. It is sweet to think of Jesus; but it is sweeter to do His will. Blessed Mary

The proud person is like a grain of wheat thrown into water: it swells, it gets big. Expose that grain to the fire: it dries up, it burns. The humble soul is like a grain of wheat thrown into the earth: it descends, it hides itself, it disappears, it dies; but to revive in heaven. Blessed Mary

Observance of the rule is of more value than all extraordinary states, more than the stigmata and the gift of miracles. Blessed Mary

Here in the peace of the Lord reposes Sister Mary of Jesus Crucified, professed religious of the white veil. A soul of singular graces, she was conspicuous for her humility, her obedience and her charity. Jesus, the sole love of her heart called her to Himself in the 33rd year of her age and the 12th year of her religious life at Bethlehem, 26 August 1878. – inscribed on Blessed Mary’s tombstone

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified“. CatholicSaints.Info. 11 January 2022. Web. 22 January 2022. <>