Spain, Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina
Nazaria Ignacia March Mesa was born on 10 January 1889 in Madrid in Spain. When she was only nine years old she heard Jesus calling her: “You, Nazaria, follow me.”
After her family had migrated to Mexico, Nazaria joined the Little Sisters of the Abandoned Elderly there in 1908. She was then sent to Oruro in Bolivia, where she spent 12 years caring for the aged and dying.
In 1925 Nazaria left the Little Sisters to found a new Congregation, the Missionary Sisters of the Papal Crusade. This was approved as a diocesan religious Congregation in 1927, and in 1947, the year of Nazaria’s death, the Institute received its final approval as the Church Missionary Crusades.
According to its Constitutions, written by the now Mother Ignacia Nazaria, “The purpose of the Institute of the Pontifical Missionary Crusade is to support women’s social action.” Mother Ignacia Nazaria would say: “In love, to obey and cooperate with the Church’s work of preaching the Gospel to every creature is our life, is what we are…. This is our warrior spirit, faithful, without cowardice, all love, above all love for Christ and in Christ for all. Give to the poor, encourage the sad, give a hand to the fallen, teach the children of the people, share bread with them: in short, we give our life, our whole being to Christ, the Church and souls.”
Blessed Nazaria Ignacia died in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 6 July 1943, leaving behind a great reputation for holiness. She was beatified by John Paul II in 1992.