The Venerable Concepción Cabrera de Armida was born in San Luis Potosí, Mexico (1862) and died in Mexico City (1937). She was the wife of Francisco de Armida (1884-1901) with whom she had 9 children.
She was a model wife and mother. She is popularly known by the name of “Conchita”.
In the Spiritual Exercises she made in 1889, she received a strong inspiration that marked her for life: “Your mission is to save souls”. She founded and promoted the “Works of the Cross”: “Apostolate of the Cross” (1895), “Religious of the Cross of the Sacred Heart of Jesus” (1897), “Covenant of Love with the Heart of Jesus” (1909), “Fraternity of Christ the Priest” (1912), etc. In 1914 she cooperated, with the Venerable Fr. Félix Rougier, in the foundation of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit.
Spiritual Mother of souls, especially of priests:
Concepción Cabrera de Armida, guided by the Lord, became progressively aware of being a mother of souls and, in a special way, a spiritual mother of priests. These great desires, aroused in her heart by the Lord, became a life of spousal syntony with Him, sharing His same priestly oblation.
Her spiritual motherhood was initially oriented towards the salvation and sanctification of all the redeemed, as the Lord had indicated to her: “You will give me many souls”, “you will save many souls”, “thousands of souls will pass through your hands to offer them to me”, “many souls will profit from the favors I have done for you”, “love souls as I love them”.
Conchita is not centered on herself, but on the good of others, in imitation of the love of Christ. Love for souls became concrete in the desire for the sanctification of priests: “You are destined for the sanctification of souls, especially that of priests”.
For this reason, Conchita’s heart should reflect the maternal tenderness that Christ found in Mary: “For this maternal tenderness, derived from Mary’s, I come to seek in your motherly heart, and in the hearts of your people.” From there, Conchita will derive the need to imitate Mary in her generous fidelity and her immolation with Christ: “My Mother, holy Virgin, give me your Heart and your heartbeat to know how to love Jesus”.
Conchita’s life is consecrated to the sanctification of priests, as a consequence of sharing the experiences and loves of Christ the Priest. This was the commission she received from the Lord: “through you, many priests will be set on fire with love and pain”. “I have asked you many times to sacrifice yourself for them, to receive them as your own, because of the reflection of Mary in you”.
Characteristics of Conchita’s spiritual motherhood with respect to priests
Conchita’s spiritual life is all priestly. She lives by the love of Christ the Priest or of his Heart. It is the Lord himself who communicates to her the love of priests, explaining to her, at the same time, the purpose of the ministerial priest, his process of transformation in Christ and his need for holiness. Her “destiny” is thus to become a victim for the sanctification of priests. It is a kind of spiritual motherhood, in imitation of Mary’s motherhood. This is why she desires that all priests burn with apostolic zeal.
She became aware of her spiritual motherhood with regard to priests, guided by the Lord’s indications: “You will be a hidden spiritual mother… Your mission is all cross and all hidden”.
Main objective: the sanctification of priests:
That is the intention underlined by the Lord: “I need holy priests, who, in the hands of the Holy Spirit, will be the great lever that will lift up the materialized and sensual world. Go, daughter, help me to fulfill my desire. A Crusade is needed to save the bad Priests, they must be sanctified, activating their zeal and kindling in them the divine love.”
“Do you not see that they must be a reflection of My Father, a perfect imitation of Me, other Jesus? I insist and will insist on this capital point of your mission on earth: the priests.”
Conchita’s consecration for this maternity, love for priests united to the oblation of Christ:
Conchita’s oblative response will be continuous and enduring: “I have offered everything, in union with my divine and most beloved Word, for the priests so dear to the divine Heart, I am theirs, I am their firewood, and to the last pain and breath of my existence, I will offer it in their favor. I am theirs, I am their firewood and even the last pain and breath of my existence, I will offer it in their favor. Oh sublime mission of pain and love that I do not deserve! Thank You, my God, and in all priests I will see You, High and first Priest whom I want to love so much”, I feel that I am not satisfied in fighting to sanctify myself, but I long to give to Jesus and through Him and with Him, in the same sacrifice, to sanctify what He loves most, His beloved priests in all their hierarchies, the Church in all its weight”.