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Mary Ward on Retreat at Liege in October 1619

The nun who laid the groundwork for active modern women’s religious orders

Mary Ward set out to do what St. Ignatius Loyola had done for men.
Mary Ward set out to do what St. Ignatius Loyola had done for men.

He was very near me and within me, which I never perceived Him to be before. I was moved to ask Him with great confidence and humility, what I came to know to whit, what He was. I said, ‘My God, what art Thou?’ I saw Him evidently and very clearly go into my heart and little by little hid Himself (and there I perceive Him to be still in the same manner, my meditation being ended an hour since). I endeavored to go forward according to the points of the meditation, but could not, He held my heart, I could not work. I would then have asked Him something, bid Him welcome, but He would not let. I once asked, ‘will you lie there and do nothing?’ And another time, ‘make that heart perfect and such as you would have it’; but beginning my speech in both, I could not possibly go forward. I saw plainly that His only will was that I should neither work nor talk, but hold my peace.

— from the writings of Mary Ward

Mary Ward (1585–1645) was an English Catholic nun who founded the Congregation of Jesus and the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as the Sisters of Loreto, a teaching order that has schools around the globe. Declared Venerable by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, Ward entered religious life, the Poor Clares, at age 15. Seeking to establish an order of nuns that participates in active ministry in the world, she sought to do through a woman’s religious order in their proper field of action — that is teaching and tending to the sick — what St. Ignatius Loyola had done for men in establishing the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). Her pioneering work and the success of the orders she founded laid the groundwork for active modern women’s religious orders.

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Mary Ward set out to do what St. Ignatius Loyola had done for men.
Mary Ward set out to do what St. Ignatius Loyola had done for men.

He was very near me and within me, which I never perceived Him to be before. I was moved to ask Him with great confidence and humility, what I came to know to whit, what He was. I said, ‘My God, what art Thou?’ I saw Him evidently and very clearly go into my heart and little by little hid Himself (and there I perceive Him to be still in the same manner, my meditation being ended an hour since). I endeavored to go forward according to the points of the meditation, but could not, He held my heart, I could not work. I would then have asked Him something, bid Him welcome, but He would not let. I once asked, ‘will you lie there and do nothing?’ And another time, ‘make that heart perfect and such as you would have it’; but beginning my speech in both, I could not possibly go forward. I saw plainly that His only will was that I should neither work nor talk, but hold my peace.

— from the writings of Mary Ward

Mary Ward (1585–1645) was an English Catholic nun who founded the Congregation of Jesus and the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as the Sisters of Loreto, a teaching order that has schools around the globe. Declared Venerable by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, Ward entered religious life, the Poor Clares, at age 15. Seeking to establish an order of nuns that participates in active ministry in the world, she sought to do through a woman’s religious order in their proper field of action — that is teaching and tending to the sick — what St. Ignatius Loyola had done for men in establishing the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). Her pioneering work and the success of the orders she founded laid the groundwork for active modern women’s religious orders.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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