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The Ledóchowski family in which Maria Theresa was born on 04/29/1863 in Loosdorf, Austria was noble and full of faith. She was a brilliant young woman with artistic talents. Although she received a profound human and religious formation, the young woman loved worldly entertainment, and wishing to become famous she enjoyed applause.  


      A chain of painful events brought new vision to the young countess. At 16 he experienced his first unrequited youthful love,  that left a void in his heart. At 22, Maria Teresa was struck by smallpox, from which she was infected and her beloved father died. Matured by suffering, she made a great turn towards God. 

In 1885 he took up a post at the court of Grand Duchess Alice of Tuscany in Salzburg. Among so many needs and duties, the lady of the court  he continued to live a profound spiritual life, which indeed took on new impetus here. The meetings with the missionaries opened her to missionary horizons, and the words of Cardinal Lavigérie invited her to commit to the anti-slavery work:  ... Whoever has the gift of the pen from God, should place it at the service of this cause. You will certainly not find one that is more holy. 

From then on, Maria Theresa dedicated her literary talent to the cause of slavery and missions. He began to write articles and publish the magazine "Echo of Africa", thus arousing great interest in the anti-slavery movement and the missions. He was unable to devote sufficient time to this noble cause, and therefore in 1891 he left his commitment to the court and sought collaborators for the nascent work.


To ensure the continuation of the work, on April 29, 1894, with the approval of Pope Leo XIII, he founded the Association of San Pietro Claver which, 3 years later, became a religious congregation.  

The missionary activity of Maria Teresa Ledóchowska had a modern and surprising character for those times. The Foundress understood the importance of the mass media; he gave lectures, organized congresses, inaugurated printers; he tried to involve all the laity to cooperate in the mission of the Church.


The missionary work of Maria Theresa spread and was appreciated by many bishops and missionaries. On 6 July 1922 in Rome, consumed by apostolic labors, she entered eternity, where she waited to meet the souls for whom she had dedicated her life.  Mother of Africa will be the title with which it will go down in history. She was beatified in 1975, on world mission day.

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