Unleashing Hope

The Biography of Venerable Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament


About this item

Unleashing Hope draws you into the powerful life of Luisa de Ia Peña Navarro (1886-1937), "Mother Luisita," a petite woman from a small town in Jalisco, Mexico, who devoted her entire life to serving the poor, the sick, and especially the children. She established schools, hospitals, and orphanages at a time when it was against the law to even be a Catholic. Gripping historical events including revolution, religious persecution, and the Cristiada reveal her as a spiritual mother who brought healing and hope. After her husband's death, Mother Luisita answered God's call to establish a new Carmelite community that would "stand in the presence of the Living God, and with Mary make known the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus" to a world suffering the wounds of sin and division.

Unleashing Hope comes at a time in history when the world must reset its moral compass and rediscover the beauty and dignity of each person and the joy and healing that comes through living in God's abiding presence. You will not easily forget Mother Luisita and her compelling life story.

Here is the book that you need to “live in hope” in uncertain times. This seminal biography of Venerable Luisa de la Peña Navarro (1866–1937), “Mother Luisita,” reveals gripping historical events and stories of the atrocious persecution of Catholics in Mexico in the 1920s and 1930s. Mother Luisita's Carmelite spirituality, illuminating each page, will remind you that God has your back and keeps His promises. Mother's life and late religious vocation bears witness that it is never too late to begin, that you can trust God, and He will never abandon you.

You will learn how Mother formed her sisters to prepare a dwelling place for God within. This helped them withstand violence and remain faithful in the face of death, when they had to flee for their lives repeatedly. There were times when they had no food or money, but God always provided.

Mother Luisita is still a beloved spiritual mother to the faithful in Jalisco, Mexico, and beyond, and memories of her holiness and kindness continue to bring hope and healing. Included in this biography are firsthand testimonies, Mother's inspirational maxims, excerpts from her letters, a prayer for her cause, and other compelling documents. 

You will also learn about Mother's early life: her poor health from youth, her privileged background, and her marriage to a medical doctor, with whom she founded a hospital for the poor. 

Fortify your faith as you read about Mother's adventures, trials, and joys in establishing two religious orders — the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles and the Carmelitas del Sagrado Corazon de Mexico — as well as numerous foundations and institutions. The work of the Sisters proceeded even during a smallpox epidemic and periods when it was illegal to be Catholic in Mexico.

Discover the truth about the atrocities that the faithful suffered during the Mexican Revolution through a rare testimony of a Carmelite religious superior before the U.S. Congress. 

Best of all, you will be encouraged by Mother's:

  • Devout Catholic family and great devotion to Our Lady and the Rosary

  • Character and faith formation and love of intercessory prayer and the Holy Eucharist

  • Transformation as teen and how she overcame self-centeredness and worldliness

  • Compassionate and indefatigable care for the poor, the sick, and orphans

  • Obedience to God's will, regardless of the painful sacrifices it entailed

  • Profession of vows — in secret, despite the dangers

Documentation for a potential miracle wrought by Mother Luisita is presently being investigated. 

José H. Gomez photo

"I first ‘met’ Mother Luisita when I came to Los Angeles in the spring of 2010. I became captivated by her story and I pray that this book will introduce many to this unknown saint of Los Angeles and the Americas."

José H. Gomez
Archbishop of Los Angeles
Msgr. Robert J. Sarno, J.C.D., S.T.L., M.Div. photo

"Pope Benedict XV described holiness as living the ordinary things of daily life in an extraordinary manner with faith, love and constancy. Sr. Timothy Marie Kennedy, O.C.D., offers to the reader, the biography of the Venerable Servant of God Maria Luisa Josefa, a mirror into the life of a woman, a wife, a foundress of a religious community dedicated to helping the poorest of the poor."

Msgr. Robert J. Sarno, J.C.D., S.T.L., M.Div.
Retired Official of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints,Vatican
Very Rev. Adam Gregory Gonzales, O.C.D. photo

"Unleashing Hope is a biography that can be read on many levels. This life story of Mother Luisita is filled with history and spirituality, simple, yet filled with the complexities of revolution and persecution."

Very Rev. Adam Gregory Gonzales, O.C.D.
Provincial Superior, Discalced Carmelite Friars of the California-Arizona Province
Mother Gloria Therese of the Holy Spirit Laven, O.C.D. photo

"Unleashing Hope mirrors what we are experiencing now – today – as a compelling story that you won’t forget."

Mother Gloria Therese of the Holy Spirit Laven, O.C.D.
Superior General, Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles
Chris Stefanick photo

"Reading Mother’s story reminded me to look deeper behind every gentle smile to perceive the Saint and the suffering that might be behind it, and more, to cooperate more intentionally with the divine Author as he writes a story through the pages of my own life every day."

Chris Stefanick
Founder & President, Real Life Catholic
Rodger Landry photo

"Sr. Timothy Marie’s eloquent work helps us to get to know and love this great spiritual mother who inspires us to remember that ‘for greater things you were born.’"

Rodger Landry
Author, Plan of Life: Habits to Help You Grow Closer to God
  • Pages: 336
  • Format(s): Paperback, eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-64413-492-4
  • Product Code: 4924
  • Availability: In Stock
  • Publication Date: July 26, 2022
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