Venerable Elisa Martinez

Venerable Elisa MartinezAlso known as

  • Sister Maria Lucia


Elisa early felt a call to religious life, and at the age of 23 joined the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd in Angers, France. She made her first profession on 29 September 1930, taking the name Sister Maria Lucia and was assigned to the house in Chieti, Italy. Falling ill with a severe respiratory problem, she was ordered to return to her family.

After some time recovering, Elisa moved to Betronio, Italy where she aided and taught the poor, and served as catechist in her parish. Her work attracted many young like-minded women, who became informally known as the Sisters of Catechism. The group moved to the archdiocese of Argento, Italy where there was a need for their type of work. There they became a formal congregation on 20 March 1938, calling themselves the Pious Union of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (Pia Unione delle Suore dell’Immacolata; their charism was based on Matthew 25:40: “Whatever you have done unto the least of my brothers and sisters, you have done unto me.”

On 14 August 1941 the archbishop formally established the group, calling them the Congregation of the Daughters of Saint Mary of Leuca. Sister Elisa became Mother Elisa and led the Congregation. They received papal approval in 1943. The Daughters devoted themselves the outcast, prisoners, single mothers and abandoned children, and to work with refugees during World War II. The Daughters grew throughout her life, and continue their good work in several countries today.




Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Venerable Elisa Martinez“. CatholicSaints.Info. 17 October 2021. Web. 24 October 2021. <>