Sanctity in America: Servant of God Cora Evans

Cora Evans was born on July 9, 1904 and raised by her Mormon family. She married Maclellan Evans in the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, UT, but was disillusioned with the secret marriage ceremony and began a spiritual quest that, much to her surprise, led her to the Roman Catholic Church.

Cora had heard all the anti-Catholic stories growing up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Then, on December 9, 1934, Cora found herself very I’ll in her family’s home in Ogden, UT. The radio was on, somehow turned to the Catholic Hour radio program, and Cora was too I’ll to get up to change the station. Msgr Duane Hunt was speaking about the Blessed Mother and Cora was intrigued. The program seemed to counter much of the negative warnings she had heard about Catholicism growing up. When she recovered, she visited St. Joseph Catholic Church to get some answers to her questions. Dr. Edward Vaughn assisted Cora through this journey, sometimes even debating Mormon bishops in Cora’s own home!  Eventually, Cora became convinced of the truth of God’s revelation in Christ through the Church, and Cora was baptized on March 30, 1935. She received her first Holy Communion the next day. Her husband, Mack, and their three daughters would enter the Church a few months later, so the entire family was United in the faith.  Cora was an effective evangelize. Fr. Vaughn would write years later that she was instrumental in inspiring hundreds of others to convert to Catholicism.

In July of 1o38, Cora had a profound mystical experience. She dedicated herself to God’s service, referring to this event as her “vow day.”  She wrote, “it was necessary for me to live my chosen vocation with him as my companion. By loaning Jesus my humanity for Him to govern as well as dwell witjin, would make my life a living prayer for He was life, living within me, and my body now dead to me was His living cross, His cross to take to Calvary, Calvary, the door to eternal life.”

I’m 1941, the family moved to southern California because Mack, now a Catholic, faced religious discrimination in his attempts to find work. Crow’s mystical experiences came more often, and Father Frank Parrish, SJ be and her spiritual director and confessor. On December w4, 1946, Jesus revealed His plan for Cora. She was to spread devotion to the Mystical Humanity of Christ, encouraging others to a greater awareness, through prayer, of the indwelling presence of Jesus in their lives. Father Parrish would continue as Cora’s spiritual director for the rest of her life, and his writings testify to her holiness.  Cora died on March 30, 1957

Cora received many spiritual gifts, including the stigmata, bilocation, the fragrance of roses in her presence, visions and ecstasies and her writings exhibit profound spiritual insights well beyond her education or theological understanding. But, it is her life of heroic virtue that is essential to her cause for canonization.

I’m March, 2012, the Vatican approved the cause for canonization for Cora Evans to proceed and she was given the title Servant of God. The Diocese of Monterey, CA is in charge of her cause. 

“Dear Jesus, You blessed Cora Evans with many spiritual mystical gifts as a means of drawing us to a deeperand more intimate union with Your Sacred Heart through Your Divine Dwelling, Your Mystical Humanity. I ask You through her intercession to help me in my special request (name the favor) and in my efforts to do Your will here on earth and be with You, Your Blessed Mother, Saint Joseph and the whole court of Heaven forever.”

Say three times: Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

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