Revolution erupted in Portugal in 1910, resulting in the laws against religious congregations. Sisters were dispersed and, in some cases, imprisoned. In response to Mother Maria de Aquino Ribeiroís sense of calling, she and two other Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary set sail for Brazil in February 1911. Stripped of their resources, expelled from their convents in Portugal, they suffered in many ways. However, they were well received by the people of Brazil and, as other RSHM joined them, they established schools in Uba and Rio de Janeiro.
Visit of Mother Baptiste Holohan (center) as representative of the General Superior
to the Brazilian community in Uba shortly after its foundation
As their reputation as educators grew, their schools flourished: Belo Horizonte, Sao Paulo, Vitoria, Brasilia. Attentive to the wishes of Father Gailhac and his love for the poor, free schools were always attached to fee-paying schools. Today, sisters are also living and ministering to the poor in urban and rural areas.
The RSHM International Novitiate is also located in Brazil.