|Died||July 31, 1705 (aged 52)|
|Residence||Prince-Bishopric of Brixen|
|Nationality||Holy Roman Empire|
|Occupation||Sister of the Third Order of St. Francis, Foundress - Tertiary Sisters of St. Francis|
|Parent(s)||Nikolaus Hueber, Anna Tapp|
|Tertiary Sisters of St. Francis|
Venerable Maria Hueber (22 May 1653 - 31 July 1705) was a religious sister, a pioneer in educating girls in Tyrol and Foundress of the Congregation of Tertiary Sisters of St. Francis in Brixen (Bressanone in Italian).
Hueber was born to the Brixen tower watchman Nikolaus Hueber and his wife Anna Tapp in 1653. Nikolaus died when she was three months old, leaving Anna to bring three children up through her work as a seamstress and by caring for the sick. Anna taught her reading, arithmetic and sewing, while she taught herself to write.
Hueber worked in several residences in Brixen from childhood to supplement her mother's income. She moved to Bolzano, Innsbruck and then Salzburg in the 1670s, to work in several residences of lay and clergy alike, before her mother's ill health forced her to return home. In the course of her service, she struck acquaintance with many of the religious she worked for, particularly with the Order of the Servants of Mary in Innsbruck. She corresponded often with several of them.
Hueber had sworn chastity due to an incident at a young age, but she also did not want to enter a religious order as deeply contemplative as the Order of the Servants of Mary. In 1679, she chose to join a lay religious community, the Third Order of St. Francis. She led a cloistered life while also nursing her sick mother. Her mother passed away in 1696.
Hueber's confessor, Fr. Isidor Kirnigl had come across a community of nuns in Rome who were teaching poor girls. When he suggested that she attempt something similar in Brixen, Hueber - along with her associate Regina Pfurner - started the Order of the Tertiary Sisters of St Francis and opened a school for girls on 12 September 1700: the first such institution in Tyrol. The girls were taught reading, writing and sewing.
The Order today
The Tertiary Sisters, a community of around 160 in 2019, run the Herz-Jesu-Institut in Mühlbach, South Tyrol, the Pädagogische Gymnasium in Bolzano and the Marienklinik hospital in Bolzano. They also engage in missions in Cameroon and Bolivia.
The process for the beatification of Hueber began in 1996. On 19 March 2019, Pope Francis authorized Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to issue the decree of Hueber's heroic virtues.
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