Jubilee 400


“Four centuries of tireless work anchored in faith” is how Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, described Mary Ward’s legacy back in January 1985.


Widely recognised now as a pioneer in women’s education, MaryWard was also a divinely inspired advocate of a new way of religious life for women, based on the apostolic model set out by St Ignatius Loyola in the 16th century.


This Yorkshire woman, who was born in 1585, offered an audacious vision of what women could do in the service of the Church and society.


This year marks the 400th anniversary of the foundation of her first apostolic institute in 1609.


 For more information on the Irish, Roman and Kenyan celebrations which marked this anniversary, please see the drop down menu in this section.




Mary Ward and her first companions in the Institute