A life of humility and love for God in the Salamanca convent of Las Salesas

The Salesas sisters of the Monastery of the Visitation of Santa María commemorate these days the fourth centenary of the death of their founder, San Francisco de Sales. For this reason, they open their doors to us to learn about their charism and their life in community dedicated to prayer and cloistered work.


The nuns of the Order of the Visitation of Santa María de Salamanca, popularly known as Salesascelebrate these days the IV centenary of the death of Saint Francis Sales (August 21, 1567-December 28, 1622), co-founder of the Order together with Santa Juana de Chantal, and they wanted to take the opportunity to publicize his figure, charisma and spirituality, as well as his life in community.

The sisters pray next to the image of San Francisco de Sales, in the choir of the monastery.

This French saint, Doctor of the Church, was born into a noble family and chose to dedicate his life to God, becoming a priest and renouncing his titles of nobility. What Pastor of souls, he made many brothers who had separated due to the rise of Calvinism return to Catholic communion, teaching with his writings devotion and love to God.

On June 6, 1610, she founded the Order of the Visitation together with Juana de Chantal, which would be approved by the Holy See in 1618. The Order honors the Virgin Mary in her mystery of the Visitation, and in its beginnings the nuns visited the poor imitating the Virgin Mary in her visit to her cousin Elizabeth. Later, they were constituted as an institute of contemplative consecrated life.

His spirituality: humility before God and gentleness towards his neighbor

Mother Imelda, superior of the Monastery of the Visitation of Salamanca

The Mother Imelda, superior of the Monastery of the Visitation of Santa María in Salamanca, recalls that in the time of Saint Francis de Sales “there were many orders of penance, and he saw that many souls could not be religious.” For this reason, he decided to found the Order of the Visitation, in which “we do not have great austerities, but we do have a deep humility with God and with neighbor. And this is part of our charism”, as this nun acknowledges. A characteristic of this order, from the founding times, is that they accept women of weak health or mature age to monastic life.

These nuns live in cloistered life following the evangelical advice of poverty, chastity, obedience and humility. “Nour holy founder wanted that great spirit to live in deep humilitybecause who is not so humble before such a great God?” asks Mother Imelda.

The nuns contemplate the nativity scene installed in the parish of María Mediadora, where you can see her miniature church and some of the sisters in her entrance portico.

A 112-year-old monastery

The Monastery of the Visitation of Santa María was founded on April 30, 1910 by the Salesas de Burgos, with the help of the Mother Superior and some sisters from Pamplona. Currently, the community is made up of ten sistersof which one is from Kenya, another from Colombia, four from Burundi and another four from Spain, which is “great wealth”, as recognized by their superior.

Mother Imelda remembers with longing that when she entered the Monastery there were more than forty and she also asks its founder, “the saint of sweetness”, for new vocations in this fourth centenary, “to see if some souls are encouraged”. This nun assures that “they will be happy as she is.”

This nun, a native of Ávila, affirms that her vocation arose in her childhood, although it was not until she was 16 years old when she entered this Monastery of the Visitation, and that was “59 years ago”. She has been her superior for eight years and she admits to being happy, “because Happiness is only given to God, only God fills, not things.” And he confesses that “he has felt his grace” and “I’m happy, I can’t say anything else.”

Mother Imelda invites the diocesan community to visit them in their monastery at Paseo del Doctor Torres Villarroel nº 56, and in the church of María Mediadora, which the sisters ceded as the headquarters of the parish.

Triduum, vigil and Eucharist in honor of Saint Francis de Sales

These nuns invite the diocesan community to celebrate with them the triduum to Saint Francis de Sales that they have prepared for the days December 26, 27 and 28in his church. The three days there will be prayer of holy rosary meditated, at 7:20 p.m., followed by the Eucharist presided over by the Salesian Juan Manuel Ruanoat 20:00 hours.

Also, on Tuesday December 27the eve of the death of Saint Francis de Sales, a prayer vigil at 11:00 p.m., with the possibility of confessions and which will conclude with a Eucharist, both presided over by the parish priest of La Alberca, Alfredo Fernandez.

Finally, a solemn eucharist will put the finishing touch to these commemorative acts, the Wednesday, December 28at 8:00 p.m., in the church of María Mediadora.

The Salesas nuns especially promote devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and honor the Virgin Mary in her mystery of the Visitation of her cousin Elizabeth. Parish of Maria Mediadora. Salamanca

A life of humility and love for God in the Salamanca convent of Las Salesas – Diocese of Salamanca