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Mama Antula, the Jesuit who did not need to marry or be a nun, can be Argentina’s first feminine saint

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — A Catholic laywoman who lived in 18th-century Argentina and joined the Jesuits of their evangelical mission all through the South American nation will turn into the primary feminine saint from the house nation of Pope Francis on Sunday.

María Antonia de Paz y Figueroa, extra generally identified by her Quechua title of “Mama Antula,” was born in 1730 right into a rich household in Santiago del Estero, a province north of Buenos Aires. On the age of 15, she left the snug lifetime of her residence and the privileges of her household to affix the Jesuits — at a time when ladies’s choices had been restricted to marriage or becoming a member of a convent.

“She was a insurgent, similar to Jesus,” Cintia Suárez, co-author of the biography “Mama Antula, the primary feminine saint of Argentina,” advised The Related Press. “She confronted her father saying ‘I’m not going to get married or turn into a nun.’ She simply didn’t need to comply with orders.”

Mama Antula collaborated within the efficiency of non secular workout routines primarily based on the writings of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founding father of the Firm of Jesus in 1534, in keeping with her biographer.

When the Spanish crown expelled the Jesuits from America in 1767, contemplating them a risk to its pursuits, Mama Antula determined to take up the mantle and proceed her work, even on the threat of being imprisoned.

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She was a really astute lady who, in opposition to the prejudices of the time, had the flexibility to steer parish monks and bishops to proceed the non secular workout routines of the Jesuits regardless of the prohibition.

“Endurance is sweet, however perseverance is healthier,” is a phrase that’s attributed to her in historic texts collected in Suárez’s biography.

At a time when slavery nonetheless prevailed, masters and slaves, wealthy and poor had been welcome in her non secular workout routines. It was inside that house of reflection that she helped to erase social variations.

“Mama Antula’s charity, above all within the service to the neediest, is as we speak very a lot in proof within the midst of a society that runs the danger of forgetting that radical individualism is essentially the most troublesome virus to beat,” Francis advised a gaggle of Argentine pilgrims Friday who’re on the town for this weekend’s canonization.

Regardless of her excellent work, Mama Antula was not widely known on account of her standing as a lay lady till 2013, when Francis, additionally a local of Argentina, was elected pope and introduced her again to the general public eye.

Francis first approved her beatification in 2016, after the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints acknowledged a miracle linked to Mama Antula. It was the inexplicable therapeutic in 1905 of a critically in poor health nun belonging to the non secular order answerable for the Home of non secular workout routines based by Mama Antula in Buenos Aires.

The second miracle that opened the door to her canonization got here in 2017, when a former Jesuit seminarian was left on the verge of loss of life from a stroke. A pal introduced an image of Mama Antula to the hospital and caught it on the important indicators monitor. The person improved and left intensive care.

The canonization of Mama Antula in a ceremony to be presided over by Francis at St. Peter’s Basilica marks not solely the primary time a feminine from Argentina will turn into a saint, however will carry collectively two antagonistic figures: Francis and the newly elected president of Argentina, Javier Milei, who as soon as known as the pope an “imbecile” for defending social justice and “the consultant of malignance on Earth.”

Francis, who had a protracted dialog with Milei after he was elected, has indicated he has forgiven him for the marketing campaign rhetoric and even advised he’s contemplating visiting his native nation this yr.

María Antonia de Paz y Figueroa, or “Mama Antula,” died on March 7, 1799, aged 69.


Comply with AP’s protection of Latin America and the Caribbean at https://apnews.com/hub/latin-america

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