A Woman of Compassion and Consolacion

Foundress, Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation

Joaquina Mercedes Barceló Y Pagѐs was born in Sarriá, Barcelona on July 4, 1854.  She was the youngest of the five children of Salvador  Barceló and Maria Pagѐs.  In early 1883, she entered the “Beaterio de Mantelatas de San Agustin” in Barcelona, Spain. As a Postulant, she was allowed to join the second group of Spanish Sisters for the Mandaluyong Orphanage (Asilo de Madaloya).  She arrived in Manila on October 6, 1883. She was thus encouraged because her sister Mother Rita had already joined the first group of four (4) Sisters on April 6, 1883. The blood sisters responded to the invitation of the Spanish Augustinians to take care of the children orphaned by cholera epidemic in 1882. On December 26, 1884, Joaquina Barceló made her profession of vows and was given the name  Sor Consuelo.  As of 1888, only Mother Rita and Mother Consuelo were left to take care for the orphans because the other Spanish Sisters had returned to Barcelona, Spain due to poor health. The Philippine Revolution of 1896 and the Spanish-American War of 1898 led to the separation of Mother Rita and Mother Consuelo from their Filipino Sisters.  They were bound by obedience to return to Spain on March 13, 1899 and were both recommended for re-admission to the Beaterio in Barcelona by the Augustinian Vicar Provincial in the Philippines.

Upon petition of the Filipino Sisters and also of their Spiritual Director, Fr. Bernabe Jimenes, Mother Consuelo sought permission from her Superiors to return to the Philippines for she was then the Superior of the Beaterio de Barcelona. She returned to Manila in July 1904. It was in the First General Chapter in 1915 that she was elected Superior General and in every succeeding General Chapter elections every six years for four terms. The small congregation continued to grow and expand its mission in several provinces.  Mo. Consuelo’s 25 years of firm and gentle leadership manifested her outstanding virtues: Love of God / Love of Neighbor, Faith, Hope, Human Justice, Humility, Poverty, Prudence, Obedience, Fortitude. She had special affection for the poor, the sick, the miserable and unfortunate. She was attentive to everyone in their spiritual and temporal needs.  She was always uncomplaining and mortified even in the last days of pain and suffering. Mother Consuelo quietly celebrated her 83rd birthday on July 24, 1940.  She died on  August 4, 1940, having been called home by God to her eternal rest and reward for having served Him faithfully for 56 years in the religious life.

 Source:  Commission on Beatification. 2002.