VENERABLE MARY WARD –  1585 - 1645

Mary Ward - A woman of all times

Mary Ward the Foundress of the Loreto Sisters was a woman of great vision and full of wisdom.  She was an English woman born on the 23rd January 1585 in a Catholic family at a time when Catholics were being persecuted for their faith. 

She was the first born of six children born to her parents Marmaduke Ward and Ursula Wright. The Spirit of God lived in Mary Ward from childhood as we are told that her first word ever to utter was ‘Jesus’ and her very last as she gave her spirit back to God.

Mary Ward had a special love for God right from early years of her life.  She never stopped praying and practicing her faith in the hardships and persecutions that surrounded her family and relations.  She never gave up but trusted in God and desired to suffer only for His sake, thus her motto, “All for the Greater Honor and Glory of God”.

Mary Ward had a special call to serve God as a religious woman.  As she continued searching for the will of God in her life, it was revealed that God not only wanted her to be a nun, but to do something greater and that is, to found a religious community of women free from monastic enclosure. 

This meant that the sisters were to go out of the convents to do other active work like teaching in schools.  It also meant that the sisters were to be ordinary and simple in their manner of dressing.

 Filled with great courage Mary struggled on to fulfill what God wanted of her in her life.  Her great vision was to see women getting educated so that they would play a very important and significant role in the family and the society at large.  She therefore, chose her special area of service; the education of girls and the preservation of faith. 

Apart from teaching, she wanted her sisters to trust God and remain faithful without the protection of convent walls.  With God’s grace, she was that woman who had both the brains and pastoral skills to spread the faith.  Her belief in the equality of women, that is, there is no such difference between men and women made her foresee that “women in time to come will do much”.

Mary Ward’s determination and faith in God have been vindicated by the congregations of thousands of women who are active today in many parts of the world.  Faced with threats and dangers of those days of persecution, it is a miracle that her work has survived up to the present time through the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM) popularly known as Loreto Sisters

Loreto sisters all over the world are very happy that Mary Ward was finally declared “Venerable” the first step towards her canonization to sainthood. 

We thank God that the vision she had many years ago has spread all over the world and many have benefited from it in various ways. 

May the Spirit of Mary Ward give us the courage to move and spread her charism to others in the world.  May we be forever united in her motto;




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