Visit the Museum and Natal House of Maria Romero
Near the Xalteva Church in Granada, is the Museum and Natal House of Maria Romero. It stands as a reminder and monument to the humanitarian efforts and care that Sister Maria Romero provided to many. Her work and dedication to others, has been remembered and even led to her contributions and sacrifices being blessed by Pope Jean Paul II in the year 2002. Sister Maria Romero’s house of birth has been converted into museum to celebrate her life and has become one of the more memorable attractions in Nicaragua.
Sister Maria Romero was born in the city of Granada on 13 January 1902, into a prominent Nicaraguan family. She excelled in her schoolwork and was a brilliantly talented artist. She had a natural drawing and painting ability and soon mastered the violin and the piano. Sister Maria Romero attended the Salesian Sisters School where she affirmed her faith and belief, after suffering rheumatic fever that left her heart damaged. Against all odds, she completely recovered from her illness and saw each hurdle that she had overcome during this time as a blessing from God.
Don Emilio Bottari became Sister Romero’s spiritual leader when she started working on her spiritual vocation at the Marian Association. Sister Maria Romero joined the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians in 1920 and made her last vocation on 6 January 1929 in which she strived to live her life in union with God and his word. She made her second home in San Jose (Costa Rica) in 1931, where she began teaching art and music, and quickly won the respect and love of all the girls she tutored. The privileged children that she was educating started to assist her in reaching out to the abused, poor and oppressed. By 1945 Sister Maria Romero had founded recreational centers for those in need and from 1953 the centers also distributed food. Through her determination to help the less-privileged communities, Sister Romero was able to establish a school for the poor in 1961, and through donations and voluntary work done by doctors she was able to start a much-needed clinic in 1966.
Of course, Sister Maria Romero was not finished yet. She acquired a stretch of land just outside of San Jose, where she began constructing homes so that poor families could stay in a small village and have a place of their own. On completing the first seven houses, she also erected a market and school that provided religious education and even job training. After her sudden death on 7 July 1977, in Leon, in Nicaragua, her remains were taken back to San Jose, where she rests in the city that she devoted her life to.
The Museum and Natal House of Maria Romero was renovated by the group, Hermanas Salencianas de Maria Auxiliadora and transformed into a museum to remember the work and life of Sister Romero. Here, visitors will be able to view personal belongings such as photos, books and other items. A small shop within the museum also sells amulets, biographies, videos and souvenirs. Walking through the museum gives visitors a rare glimpse into the life of a wonderful woman and a savior of many.