Page last updated at 15:14 GMT, Sunday, 20 December 2009

British nun on road to sainthood

Mary Ward
Mary Ward's congregation was recognised after her death

A Yorkshire nun who was jailed for trying to promote women's rights 400 years ago has been put on the road to sainthood by Pope Benedict.

Mary Ward, who was born in Ripon, founded an order of nuns in the 17th Century but it was rejected by the Pope and she was accused of heresy.

Pope Benedict has now approved a decree recognising her "heroic virtues", giving her the title "venerable".

Her cause will now go to the next stage in the process towards canonization.

Mary Ward's order of nuns was recognised by the church in 1877, more than 200 years after her death, and exists today worldwide under the names Congregation of Jesus and Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Sister Gemma Simmons, a member of the Congregation of Jesus, said: "Mary Ward's ideal of an active congregation of religious women serving the needs of the church was too advanced for her time.

"She suffered at the hands of authorities who in different circumstances might have recognised the need for such a congregation."



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Mary Ward: A spiritual journey
21 Dec 09 |  Religion and Ethics

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific