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Tribute to the Mothers of the Apostolate of the 40 Hours – Sister María de las Virtudes, SSVM



In the context of the 150th anniversary of the first meeting of the Vicentine priest Jorge Maria Salvaire with the Pure and Clean Conception, the Virgin of Luján, 3 December 1871, I believe that it is a worthy tribute to the mothers of the 40-hour apostolate for religious vocations, to offer to her very distinguished consideration therefore a mother like you , was born this magnanimous minister of God, missionary and Marian who enlarged our beloved Argentine Fatherland and will make her immortal by launching herself into the construction of the magnificent sanctuary of Luján, the most precious chest that a man could offer to the Mother of God, the Pearl that heaven legates us dressed in their same colors and bringing us into her bosom the Sun of Justice that is reflected in the sun our flag.

Here on this soil of ours, in fact, God hid that Pearl of the Gospel that the wise merchant in finding her knew how to sell everything to buy the land and with him the Fine Pearl in it hides…

And here, on this very ground and crossing its borders, in fact, God hides thousands of women, true mothers, in imitation of what they venerate as the most exalted among all and that has no equal among all women.

Mary was called the mother of Father Salvaire, María Vázquez, a Spaniard originally from Cadiz from whom she learned from the cradle the endearing love that other Mary, spiritual mother of her soul and priestly and religious vocation.

Very few are the information left to us by history, but give us this to become aware that behind a priest there is a mother who begat him, not only to physical life, but even more so, with tears, prayers, countless sacrifices and often painful resignations, as in a continuous birth in which joys and anxieties are combined, continue to give birth to the many consecrated vocations that want to follow Christ more intimately.

At the age of 19 she sees him leaving for the seminary of the Congregation for mission (lazarists- Vicentines) to Paris and years later, a few months after being ordained a priest, she sees him depart for distant Argentina.

While one Mary was laying him off the coast of France, another more august and tender awaited him on the bank of the Luján River and marked his unique destiny to be the one to build her a dignified abode here where divine Providence wanted to leave her to be the Mother of an entire nation who were her most devoted children from generation to generation.

This must happen in the hearts of every mother who sees her child leave for seminary or religious convent. Thus he must be dismissed, so he must see him leave trusting that a more august and tender mother awaits him in the chapel and Church of his new home where he will live quietly and safely under such heavenly mantle and protected by such powerful hands always together in prayer.


Although these are lines written from the love of Our Lady of Luján, patron saint of the Republic of Argentine, it is for all the mothers of the world, who on one way or another have seen, known or at least heard of her thousand finesse of love for her consecrated persons.


Therefore, mother, whoever you are, who read these lines, wherever you are, wherever you send your son off to give themselves to God, I want you to know that a Mother who will love him more than you, awaits for him, who is the mother of his soul and true life, and who is the one who teaches you how to offer at the foot of the cross, from your daily cross, your priest son and victim, to the religious daughter and whole host to God with the same disposition so that you too may be that chest containing such a Pearl. And when you see yourself reflected in the high gothic towers of the majestic basilica, say with all your mother’s love: up there and from its highest ends in Cross I want my son, my daughter to implore from there that Heaven continues to look at the world with mercy and kindness by seeing the delicately feminine and maternal silhouette drawn with heavenly and white strokes, humble and royal at the same time, of the Virgin of Luján mother of consecrated vocations, the same one that was printed on you so that you may truly be a woman, wife and mother , a mother fertile to God.


To all of you our most affectionate gratitude! Never separate your hands from your chest as the Virgin of Luján always in a prayerful attitude for us, for each of us!


And to all the mothers who have already left for heaven where they no longer count 40 hours, but uninterruptedly pray for us, the Lord has them very close to Him and his blessed Mother where we also hope to reach them for their infinite benevolence.




Father Jorge María Salvaire built more for devotion and love for this good Mother than for his countless efforts and fatigues. Today Luján is the Capital of the Faith of the Argentine people. Today that basilica rises gracefully over the storms of this ever-stormy world. Today they can send off a son or daughter who raises for God as many sanctuaries as are the finesses of love with which such a good mother awaits us on the banks of a river that makes us sail deeper in search of souls. Let them go! And widen your gaze where Our Lady awaits them to take care of them FOREVER, ALWAYS, ALWAYS! God bless you! Thank you! Long live Our Lady!


Sister Mary of Virtues SSVM

February 17, 2021

San Rafael, Argentina