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Commemoration of Laura Montoya Upegui. Teacher, catechist, saint

On Tuesday afternoon, February 6th, at the residence of the Ambassador of Colombia to the Holy See, a meeting was convened to honor the Colombian missionary Laura Montoya Upegui (1874-1949), who was canonized by Pope Francis in 2013. Montoya, along with Caterina Tekakwitha, will be the focal point of the panel titled 'The Charity of Prayer', to be presented during the International Inter-University Conference 'Women in the Church: Builders of humanity'.

The event commenced with a brief overview of the history of evangelization in Colombia, presented by Professor Luis Martinez-Ferrer from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

Following this, Dr. Verónica Sánchez de Ospina, an economist and lecturer at the Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá, recounted the life of the 75-year-old Colombian saint, Laura Montoya. Her missionary endeavors defied conventions, pioneering the role of women as missionaries at the forefront of evangelization in Latin America. 

"At the age of 38, Saint Laura realized that God was calling her to the forest to spread His word there. Her exceptional virtue stemmed from her unwavering faith", remarked Verónica. 

Both speakers translated into Italian and discussed a letter penned by the missionary addressing the indigenous people about God. They also highlighted how nature served as a conduit for St. Laura to convey God's message to those around her. 

At the close of the event, Colombia's Ambassador to the Holy See, Alberto Ospina Carreño, expressed gratitude to the attendees and extended well wishes to the Organizing Committee of the International Inter-University Conference 'Women in the Church: Builders of humanity'. to be held on 7-8 March 2024 at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

Text: Silvia Mas, Alina-Maria Balaj

Photo: Alina-Maria Balaj

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