Pedro Poveda, Founder of the Teresian Association
Poveda was born in Linares, south of Spain on
December 3, 1874 and was ordained a priest in
1897. He was always attentive to the needs of
the poor and the marginalized. His apostolate
among the gypsies of Guadix in Granada had a profound
influence on the development of human society.
By establishing the School of the Sacred Heart
for Girls and Boys, conducting vocational training
and Christian formation for adults and living
among the cavedwellers of Guadix, Pedro Poveda
effectively evangelized and humanized these people.
In 1906, as Canon of the Basilica of Covadonga,
he became deeply aware of the importance of education
and the need for training and coordination of
teachers. It was in 1911, before the image of
Our Lady of Covadonga where Pedro Poveda received
the inspiration to establish academies or educational
centers which later on led to the foundation of
the Teresian Association (Institucion Teresiana).
To pursue his work, Pedro Poveda moved to Jaen
and opened another academy for the formation of
teachers. It was in Jaen where he met Josefa Segovia,
a teacher-supervisor who became his most faithful
collaborator and later, the first President of
the Teresian Association. Together, they carried
out the pioneering work and mission of lay people
in the Church.
Convinced that he could do much more if he was
in touch with key people, Pedro Poveda moved to
Madrid in 1921 where he served as one of the Royal
chaplains. In Madrid, he also organized the Federation
of Catholic Students and founded the Federation
of Friends of Education. He likewise became counselor
of the Catholic Association of Heads of Families.
At the same time, he continued his work as founder
of the Teresian Association which received Pontifical
approval in 1924.
At the height of the religious persecution in
Spain, Pedro Poveda died a martyr's death at dawn
of July 28, 1936. He was beatified by Pope John
Paul II, along with Victoria Diez, on Oct. 10,
1993 in Rome and was canonized on May 4, 2003
on the occasion of the Pope's pastoral visit to