Servants of Mary, Sisters

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(SM, Official Catholic Directory #3600); also known as the Handmaids of Mary, or Ministers to the Sick (Siervas de María, ministras de enfermos ), a religious congregation founded in 1851 in Madrid by (St.) María Soledad torres acosta primarily to care for the sick in hospitals and private homes. In its early years the congregation nearly foundered because of the large percentage of defections, the state's unwillingness to recognize the rule composed by the foundress, and the serious slanders against María Soledad, which resulted in her removal as superior general. In 1867 the Holy See issued a decretum laudis and gave temporary approval to the constitutions. The first foundation in the U.S. was in New Orleans (1914). The U.S. provincialate is in Kansas City, KS. The generalate is in Rome.

Bibliography: j. a. zugasti, La madre María Soledad Torres Acosta y el Instituto de las Siervas de María, 2 v. (Madrid 1916).

[j. f. broderick/eds.]