Blessed Margarita de Maturana

Blessed Margarita de MaturanaAlso known as

  • Margarita María
  • Margarita María López de Maturana y Ortiz de Zárate
  • Margarita Maturana
  • Mother Margarita de Maturana
  • Mother Maturana
  • Pilar López de Maturana Ortiz de Zárate



Pilar and her twin sister Leonor were the youngest of five children born to Juana Ortiz de Zarate and Vicente Lopez de Maturana. Both girls were known for their piety in their youth, and Leonor eventually joined the Carmelites of Charity. On 10 August 1903, Pilar entered the novitiate of the Vera Cruz Mercedarian Monastery at Berriz, Spain, taking the name Margarita. She taught school and later served as principal. By 1922 her health began to suffer, and she developed a duodenal ulcer that plagued her the rest of her life.

Even within a cloistered contemplative order, Margarita was drawn to missionaries, and every night spent time in prayer for their work; when interest in missionaries developed at her school, she formed a group dedicated to praying for them. She eventually felt the call to move from the contemplative life to missionary work, and to take like minded sisters with her. In September 1924 her house asked the superior general of their order to make the case for them, and on 23 January 1926 they were given approval for an experimental move to the missions. On 5 November 1926 a group reached Wuhu, China, and on 4 March 1928 another arrived in Saipan in the northern Marianas islands. Margarita was named Mother Superior of her house on 16 April 1927. On 11 November 1928 she arrived in Ponape in the Marianas on her first mission trip.

The work that she and her sisters did was so successful that on 17 May 1930 the Sacred Congregation for the Religious approved making the house in Berriz a Missionary Institute. On 30 July 1931 Mother Margarita was chosen first Superior General of Mercedarian Missionaries of Bérriz, a position in which she served her remaining years. She made two more lengthy mission trips to the south Pacific, but the ulcer eventually led to cancer, her health failed, and she returned home for treatment and to run the administration of her house. Today there are over 500 Missionary sisters working all over the planet.


  • 25 July 1884 on the 3rd floor of 52 Tenderia Street, Bilboa, Vizcaya, Spain as Pilar López de Maturana y Ortiz de Zárate





Additional Information


There are moments in life of special importance such as when the Lord shows us the way to be followed and then leaves it up to our will to respond. Blessed Margarita

I want to make good use of the time God gives me and be ready when He finally calls me to cast myself into His arms forever; in an act of supreme abandonment. What a joy! So be it. Blessed Margarita

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Margarita de Maturana“. CatholicSaints.Info. 3 July 2021. Web. 16 October 2021. <>