Pedro Poveda, Founder of the Teresian Association

Pedro 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 (Institución 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 Madrid, Spain.


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