Celebrating Maria Montessori’s Birthday

Tuesday 31st August 2021

On 31 August the Montessori community celebrates Maria Montessori’s birthday, the one to conclude the 150th anniversary year.

By far the most emotional birthday gift ever for Maria Montessori may well have been Mario’s presence on her 1940 birthday, during her years in India. Upon Italy joining the Second World War on the side of the Germans in 1940, Mario, as an Italian, was considered a hostile national by the British, who sent him to a prisoner of war camp (June 1940).  Maria Montessori was distressed not to have him around: he was not only her dearly beloved son, but he also was her main connection to the outside world, and mainstay in the delivery of the courses. Montessori, friends and diplomats fiercely lobbied for Mario’s release — which became a fact on Maria Montessori 70th birthday: 31 August 1940.

The photograph here shows the two Montessori’s reunited on her birthday, clearly brimming with joy.

If you want to read more about the lead-up to this happy event, and how the Montessori’s jointly continued their precious work in India, delve into the title Maria Montessori Writes to her Grandchildren, letters from India, 1939-1946 (available at montessori-pierson.com).

Maria Montessori and Mario Montessori 31 August 1940