Montserrat Grases was born in Barcelona in 1941. Her parents Manuel and Manolita Grases had nine children. In 1946 she first went to school-at the school of Jesus and Mary.In 1951 she started in secondary school at a nearby college run by the sisters known as the "Damas Negras". Having finished intermediate exams she went on to the Barcelona Corporation Professional School for women.In spite of illness she finished her course.
She loved sports such as netball and tennis and liked outings with her friends. She climbed most of the mountains near Seva,where she used to spend the Summer. In 1952 Montse's parents came in contact with Opus Dei. Montse herself was thirteen when she went for the first time to a house of Opus Dei at Llar.She prayed in silence at the oratory and the priest helped her make resolutions.Afterwards there was Benediction and singing of the"Hail Holy Queen". "At Llar she learned how to grow in interior life by giving a few minutes to prayer,to conversation with Our Lord,every day. Near the tabernacle she told Our Lord all about her joys,her work her effort to be more gentle-an effort which lasted to the end of her life"(Mercedes Eguibar-A Modern Teenager)
At Castelldaura just outside Barcelona Montse attended a retreat run by Opus Dei.She was then fifteen years old.Here she thought about the possibility of complete dedication to God. However she was unsure.She decided to join Opus Dei.She struggled to overcome her small faults. She ceased arguing with her brothers and sisters as she moved closer to God.
In 1958 she went skiing with a group of friends at La Molina in the Pyrenees.Here she injured her leg. In the following weeks the pain got worse.On June 26 1958 she was brought to the Red Cross clinic.Here it was confirmed that she had developed cancer.
There is a video in Spanish on her life Here . At various points there are clips of Montse. She is denoted by the green arrow.
After some weeks her father broke the news to Montse. She reacted calmly. Next morning she went to Llar.She was heard singing a Mexican song."When I was living so happily,without thinking of love,you wanted me to love you and I loved you passionately. And I will continue to love you even after death.For I love you with the soul and the soul never dies".She now visited Rome.After this trip Montse got worse.On the days before the feast of the Immaculate Conception she went to Llar almost every day. She was carried because she could not walk.Day by day Montse jotted down her faults in her effort to love God more.
"In the notebook which she used for her examination of conscience we read how this young girl came closer and closer to intimacy with God on the basis of being demanding with herself in specific little things."-(Mercedes Eguibar-A Modern Teenager)
Little by little her illness took its course. She couldn't sleep at night.She offered her pain for the Pope the sick and the founder of Opus Dei.She never complained but was always cheerful.She brought many friends and schoolmates closer to God during her illness.She grew much worse.She was now anointed. At about ten o'clock on the morning of Holy Thursday,26 March 1959 Montse tried to sit up to see the picture of Our Lady that she had in front of her bed. She whispered "How much I love you"! "When are you coming for me?"These were her last words.
So died a young girl who exhibited a great love for Christ and the Eucharist and a great devotion to Our Lady. Her reputation for sanctity has spread throughout the world. Many favours have been received through Montse's intercession
On 19 December 1962 in Barcelona the first stage began of the enquiry for the beatification and canonization of Montserrat Grases.In 1992 the Congregation for the Causes of Saints issued a decree of validity for her process.
Between June 10 and October 28 of 1993, a diocesan investigation took place to add new documents to the process. The Positio was submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in December of 1999, to be studied for a proposal to the Pope to authorize a declaration on her life and virtues.
O God, you granted your servant Montse the grace of serene and cheerful dedication to your will with admirable simplicity in everyday life. Grant that I may lovingly offer to you all my daily activity and convert it into Christian service for others. Deign to glorify your servant Montse and through her intercession grant me the favor I ask of you… (here make your request). Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.
In conformity with the decrees of Pope Urban VIII, there is no intention of anticipating in any way the judgment of the Church. This prayer is not intended for public use.
The mortal remains of Montse Grases have been at rest in the crypt at the Oratory of Our Lady of Bonaigua (#1 Jiménez e Iglesias St, Barcelona) since 1994.
Photograph top left ©Opus Dei
"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the flower leaves
on the heel of the one who crushed it"- Mark Twain
If you are true to yourself
If you love with your whole heart...
If you stand by your dreams...
And rise through change with a strong and true character...
If you keep an open mind to new ideas...
And believe whole heartedly in your convictions...
If you see mistakes as lessons
And setbacks as challenges...
If you tackle mountains...
If you live with integrity...
You can never fail
Follow your dreams.
Click here for: photo montage