Lovers of religious tourism cannot miss the chance to visit the museum that has been established in memory of Saint Paula Montal de Sant Josep de Calasanç. The saint’s remains lie in a silver chest on the high altar in the chapel of the Madres Escolapias Convent in Olesa.
Venerated and popularly acclaimed, Paula Montal spent the last years of her life in the town where, in 1859, she founded a school that is still operating today.
Originally, the community of the Pious Schools was located in a building on Carrer Ample. In 1879, they acquired an old family home dating back to the 17th century, which was refurbished to house the convent and the school. The chapel was built in an annex. The street where the building is located has been given the saint’s name.
Symbolism, space and history is what a visit to the Esolapias Convent in Olesa offers. The chapel, dedicated to the Virgin of Montserrat, is a place of worship and the resting place of the saint’s remains. The dining table (refectory) that Mother Paula Montal had built is round, open and without edges, encouraging a spirit of fellowship. Crockery, books and handicrafts are on display in different locations around the convent. Paula Montal’s office has been converted into a sacristy and library. In the chamber the bed where she died in 1889 is still intact. And in the schoolyard there is a palm tree and a pomegranate tree which she herself planted.
Saint Paula Montal
Paula Montal i Farnés was born in Arenys de Mar on October 11, 1799. In 1829, she founded the Daughters of Mary Congregation, the Order of the Pious Schools, through which she opened a total of seven public schools for girls; the one in Olesa was the last, and also where she spent the final years of her life until her death on February 26, 1889. Considered ahead of her time, Paula Montal worked tirelessly to provide free education to girls, an unthinkable idea in the Spain of her day. Pope John Paul II, praising her virtues, proclaimed her “venerable” on December 28, 1988. The same pope beatified her on April 18, 1993 and canonized her on November 25, 2001.
Olesa de Montserrat is a municipality rich in culture and tradition, located in the foothills of the mountain of Montserrat. Olesa de Montserrat is located in the north of the comarca (county) of Baix Llobregat, in the subcomarca of Montserratí, halfway between Barcelona and the Montserrat Monastery. The natural area of the municipality, with its beautiful and magnificent scenery, is bounded by the Llobregat river and the mountain chains of Sant Salvador de les Espases and Puigventós. Olesa’s roots are markedly agricultural; it is noted in particular for its cultivation of olives of the palomar or Olesan variety, native to the region, from which the famous Olesan oil is extracted.
CONTACT USCAL RAPISSA - CARRER AMPLE, 25 08640 OLESA DE MONTSERRAT
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