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Home page / Pedro Poveda / Biography

Born in Linares in Spain on 3 December 1874. He was ordained priest in Guadix in 1897. It was here that he began a project of education and evangelisation among the cave-dwellers, most of whom were gypsies. He set up the Sacred Heart Schools for needy children.

He moved to the Marian shrine of Covadonga in 1906. While there he gave deep thought to the vital role of education in society, and the need for qualified teachers who would live out an authentic and responsible faith.

He realised that the education of women was very important, and that their influence in society depended on their becoming fully involved in the community.

He founded the Teresian Association in 1911. Of this period in his life he would later say: "The ideal of my life emerged and took shape during my meditative gazing at [the statue of] Our Lady of Covadonga.".

In 1913 he returned to Andalucia to open an Academy in Jaen, and here he met Josefa Segovia who would become his essential collaborator.

In 1921 he moved to Madrid to continue the work of consolidating the Teresian Association. He was very involved in the Christian, human and professional training of the members who were mostly working in the public education system. Here, in 1924 he heard the news that the Teresian Association had received pontifical approval.

On 27 July, after celebrating Mass, he was arrested in his home. He surrendered to his captors saying: I am a priest of Christ. His body was found the following morning with clear signs of his martyrdom.

Pope John Paul 11 beatified him on 10 October 1993. and canonised him on 4 May 2003.

As Poveda himself had said years before, "The men and women of God are unmistakable"