|Servant of God
|Born||December 18, 1890
Fraore di Eia, Italy
|Died||May 22, 1981
Ponte Taro near Parma
Ida Mari (18 December 1890, in Fraore di Eia (Parma) – 22 May 1981 at Ponte Taro, (Parma)), was an Italian teacher and humanitarist, nominated "Servant of God", by the Vatican, and is remembered in Ponte Taro as "La donna delle beatitudini" (the woman of blessings).
Ida Mari Was the daughter of a railroad watchman and of a housekeeper, the last of nine children. In 1912 she moved to Ponte Taro and there attended Noceto school, where she learned the art of knitting and studied to become a school teacher. With the help of a priest, she began to consider the idea of founding a preparatory-school, as a way care for and teach the children of the poorest families.
The building of the preparatory-school
In two small rooms, located in the oratorio annexed to the Church of Santa Teresa del Bambin Gesù, in the town of Ponte Taro, Ida Mari began to work with the first small group of children, occasionally helped by older girls of the village. She worked with great patience and dedicated her life to helping other people. Ida Mari founded the school in Ponte Taro, and also a teaching-laboratory for knitting, with the purpose for giving the young women job skills.
After a few years, around the beginning of the 1940s, thanks to the money given by several wealthy Catholic bourgeoises and industry entrepreneurs, (including the Barilla family, owners of a very pasta company), the two rooms soon expanded to a large building and became a true school, serving a hundred children.
In 1971, the Luigine Nuns arrived from their convent in Parma, in order to help the elderly teacher, who by then was too frail to continue her mission. The school, still existing, is much appreciated in the small town.
Ida Mari's tomb, is located in the Maternal School oratory. The cause of her beatification is pending.
In 1952, after her many actions of charity, she was awarded the Italian "Premio di Bontà". The road that connects the main Church and the park in Ponte Tara was named after her.
- Her biography (in Italian) was published in 1991, written by M. Mirti.
- (Italian) A website celebrates Ida Mari
- (Italian) Website about the school founded by Ida Mari in Parma