Blessed María Antonia de Paz y Figueroa

Venerable María Antonia de Paz FigueroaAlso known as

  • María Antonia of Saint Joseph
  • Mama Antula



Raised in a pious family, Maria early felt a call to religious life, but as there were no cloistered religious congregations in the region at the time, she simply donned a black robe and moved in with some other women who felt the same call. Under the spiritual direction of Jesuit Father Gaspar Juarez, she taught children, cared for the sick and poor, did needlework to help support herself, and assisted at retreats based on the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. In 1767, King Charles III of Spain expelled the Jesuits; with her spiritual director gone, Maria herself started leading the retreats. She met some hostility as the Exercises are associated with Jesuits, but for years she used them as the basis for retreats in several cities, bringing the message of Christ to tens of thousands of people, and received the support of Archbishop Sebastián Malvar y Pinto of Buenos Aires. Founded the Daughters of the Divine Savior and a retreat house in Buenos Aires which continues its good work over two centuries later.



  • 67 March 1799 in the retreat house in Buenos Aires, Argentina of natural causes
  • interred in the Church of Our Lady of Mercy in Buenos Aires



MLA Citation

  • “Blessed María Antonia de Paz y Figueroa“. CatholicSaints.Info. 6 March 2020. Web. 19 April 2021. <>