Mother Mary Aubert
b. June 19, 1835
d. October 1, 1926

The daughter of a well-established French family, Mary Aubert defied her family’s traditional aspirations for her to marry. Instead, she trained as a nurse to gain practical skills in preparation for becoming a nun. She went to New Zealand in 1860 and formed the Congregation of the Holy Family to educate Màori children.

Fluent in Màori, Aubert developed interests and skills in Màori herbal medicines, and used tinctures of cannabis hemp to ease her nuns’ menstrual pains and to help asthmatics and recovering alcoholics. Her funeral in 1926 is believed to have been the largest ever given a woman in New Zealand. The Catholic Church is considering the Beatification of her as a saint.

Copyright 2008

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