Mama Antula: who was the first Argentine saint and why some consider her the first feminist of that country

María Antonia de Paz y Figueroa (Mama Antula)

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María Antonia de Paz y Figueroa (Mama Antula) maintained Jesuit practices in colonial Argentina after the expulsion of that religious order.

  • Author, Veronica Smink
  • Role, BBC News Mundo, Argentina

She became a spiritual reference in colonial Argentina in the 18th century, an era in which women occupied a very distant background, and some consider her the country’s first feminist.

Is about María Antonia de Paz y Figueroabetter known as Mother Antula -or “Mamá Antonia”, her nickname in Quechua-, who this Sunday becomes the first saint of Argentine origin.

The occasion will be particularly special for the head of the Catholic Church, the Pope Francisconot only because she is a compatriot, but because Mama Antula is one of the figures most revered by the Jesuits, the religious order to which Jorge Bergoglio belongs.

It was she who kept Jesuit traditions alive in the region after the order was banished by the king of Spain.

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