Saint of the Day for 06 July: Maria Teresa Ledóchowska
The mother of African missions
Maria Teresa Ledóchowska
Loosdorf, 29 April 1863
Rome, 6 July 1922
19 October 1975 by Pope Paul VI
O Blessed Maria Teresa Ledóchowska,
You who were a woman of such great faith,
an example to us all of love and charity,
we ask you to intercede before God for us.
O most holy Mother, whose entire life was a gift for others,
teach us to love as you have loved us.
Let us be instruments of your peace in this world so full of hatred and violence.
Give us the grace of perseverance and strength, so that we never give up in the face of difficulties.
Help us to be better, more humble, more compassionate and merciful people every day.
And when our last hour comes, welcome our souls into your motherly womb.
The relationship with the missions
The Blessed contributed significantly to spreading knowledge about the African missions and promoting their support through the publication of two magazines: one for adults called ‘Echo of Africa’ and the other for young people called ‘The Negro Child’. Both magazines were published in nine European languages. In addition, he wrote numerous articles, appeals and pamphlets to spread the missionary ideal and gave numerous lectures in different languages and countries.
Thanks to his activism, he managed to collect a considerable amount of money, as well as sacred furniture and books, which were used to support missionary work in Africa.
Maria Theresa, having increased her work more and more, cultivated the idea of turning everything she had done so far into a religious institute. She wishes to give more stability to the work she is carrying out. She decided to travel to Rome to present her idea to Leo XIII, the Pope of the time. Thus the congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Saint Peter Claver was born.
The Saint and Spazio Spadoni
The figure of the blessed represents a concrete commitment to mission work in several aspects. Firstly, reference is made to the act of feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty. This means providing sustenance and material support to people living in extreme poverty or affected by famine, natural disaster or conflict. The aim is to satisfy the basic need for nutrition and hydration, helping to improve people’s living conditions and alleviate the suffering caused by hunger and thirst.
Secondly, the blessed understands the importance of praying for the living and the dead in a land afflicted by grief. This refers to the spiritual dimension of mission commitment. Prayer is understood as an act of compassion, intercession and solidarity with those who suffer. Praying for the living means invoking help, comfort and healing for those who face difficulties and tribulations in their daily lives. Praying for the dead implies raising the souls of the departed, asking for mercy, peace and eternal rest for those who have passed on.
In general, mission work represents a concrete commitment to help those in need, both materially and spiritually. It aims to bring relief, hope and dignity to people facing situations of suffering, poverty and oppression. The Blessed embodies these values and is dedicated to selfless action to alleviate pain and bring hope into the lives of others.