Sr. Maria was born in Granada, Nicaragua, on January 13, 1902. Her father was a government minister in the republic and very rich. But he was also very generous to the poor. Unfortunately he was swindled and this resulted in ongoing economic problems. Maria was like her father. Her family had great hopes for her: she studied music, piano and violin. But she chose the path of religious life. It seemed to her that Don Bosco’s charism was created to fit her aspirations. After her final profession, she was sent to San José de Costa Rica, which became her second home.
She was destined to teach in a college for well-off girls. But, like Don Bosco, she always sought out the “poor and abandoned young people”. Having won over those in the city, she went to the mountains and valleys to “save souls”. Like Don Bosco, she found disciples among the best among her pupils and formed them for the work of the oratories.She called them las misioneritas (little missionaries) and they worked miracles, not just in the figurative sense.Even when she had to leave teaching, she never, to her last breath, stopped teaching catechism to young and old. “Social works” sprang up around her that surprised even the Government.
She reached the point of creating a village for the poorest of the poor, giving to each family – gathered from under the bridges – a house of their own. She knew how to spread great devotion to Mary Our Help.She built a church in her honour in the centre of San José, which has become a beacon of salvation for many. She performed the greatest works through faith and with the collaboration of wealthy people, won over to her cause after having experienced the effects of devotion to Mary.This Sister, who was so active, was also eminently mystical. She was a soul of deep union with God.
She died of a heart attack on July 7, 1977. The Government of Costa Rica declared her an honorary citizen of the nation. Her remains lie in San José de Costa Rica, in the great work she established as the “House of the Virgin” and the “Social Work”. John Paul II beatified her on April 14, 2002. She is the first “Blessed” from Central America.
The liturgical memorial of Sr. Maria Romero is celebrated on July 7th, the day of her entrance into heaven.