(FSML) “Whatever you did to the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me” (Mt 25,40)
Our Congregation was born in the extreme edge of Italy, in the shadow of a Marian shrine called “Sancta Maria de finibus terrae”, which the people more simply call the “Madonna di Leuca”, because the church rises right above the Capo di Leuca, where the Ionian Sea merges with the Adriatic Sea.The current church is founded on an early Christian temple and a tradition has it that St. Peter, sailing from Palestine to Europe, landed on the beach of Leuca.
It was the Bishop who in 1941 recognized the Congregation with the diocesan right to ask our beloved Foundress, Mother Elisa Martinez, to call her Daughters with the name of S. Maria di Leuca.
Despite the Second World War which at that time was already upsetting all of Europe, our Congregation expanded into Italy and, in 1943, obtained the recognition of Pontifical Right.
As soon as the war ended, there was an expansion towards Europe (Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal) and towards the new world (United States and Canada) and finally towards Asia (India and the Philippines).
The Daughters of Santa Maria di Leuca form a large family, in which all members have equal rights and duties. Even though they come from different countries and continents, they are united by a common vocation. They live in more or less numerous local communities, according to needs and possibilities: some in large centers, others on the outskirts of metropolises, still others in missions in towns and small towns.