María de la Purísima Salvat Romero was born in 1926 in Spain to Ricardo Salvat Albert and Margarita Romero Ferrer as the third of eight children.She was baptized the following day with the name of “Maria Isabel” bestowed upon her in the church of Our Lady of the Conception on Goya Street. As a child she attended the school of the Irish Sisters in Madrid and received her First Communion at the age of six.Romero and her family left Spain for Portugal from July 1936 to 1938 in order to escape the persecutions of the Spanish Civil War; they returned following the conclusion of the conflict. During her time in Portugal, she realized her true calling was to that of religious life. While her mother approved of this decision, her father ultimately attempted to suppress this, though later relented to the strong desire of his daughter.Romero joined the Sisters of the Company of the Cross, established by Saint Angela of the Cross, on 8 December 1944 and was vested in the habit of the congregation for the first time on 9 June 1945, also taking he new name to symbolize this. Romero later made her temporary vows on 27 June 1947 and took her perpetual vows on 9 December 1952.
In 1966 she was sent to the Mother House of the congregation in Seville where she, in 1968, was named the Provincial of the Mother House. She eventually ascended to the position of Superior General in 1977 and was reelected thrice, remaining in office until her death.
During her tenure, she oversaw the updating of the Constitution while attempting during her term to defend and uphold the charism of the congregation. She continued to safeguard the charism while focusing on a renewed fidelity to the message of the Gospel and the magisterium of the Church, as well as an added emphasis on Marian and Eucharistic devotion. Romero also met with the sick and the poor each morning, working tirelessly for them in terms of serving them food and cleaning their clothes. In her role as Mother General she attended the beatification of Angela of the Cross by Pope John Paul II on 5 November 1982.
She was diagnosed with a tumor in 1994 and she faced her illness for the next four years with great docility to the will of God. Romero died in Seville on 31 October 1998.
The canonization process commenced with the declaration of “nihil obstat” (nothing against) on 13 January 2004 which bestowed upon her the title of Servant of God. The cause opened in Seville and the local process spanned from 20 February 2004 until 15 November 2004. The process was validated on 2 July 2005.
The miracle that led to her beatification involved the curing of Ana Maria Rodriguez Casado who was cured at the age of three in 2004 after being in a vegetative state; the girl celebrated her First Communion at the beatification Mass.She was canonized alongside Sts.Zelie and Louis Martin on October 15,2015.Present at her canonization were sisters who personally knew St. María Isabel Salvat Romero.