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Real Name: Maria de la Joya

Identity/Class: Human civilian, citizen of Guatemala (see comments)

Occupation: Nun

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Father Helcio, Joseph (clone of Magneto), Maggott (Japheth), Holy Sepulchre orphans (Migdalia, Luis, Umberto and unidentified others)

Enemies: Colonel Ramos, Nanny's cyber minion

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Luv" (nickname used by Maggott)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
                                   formerly the Holy Sepulchre orphanage near Las Lisas, Guatemala

First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men I#327 (December, 1995)

Powers/Abilities: Sister Maria possessed no known superhuman abilities. A devout Christian, she studied in the United States (presumably theology) and is fluent in both Spanish and English. Maria doesn't scare easily, can think on her feet and is proficient in the use of shotguns.

Height: 5'6" (by approximation)
Weight: 140 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Black


(Uncanny X-Men I#327 (fb) - BTS) - Maria de la Joya was born in South America. Hearing the call of God, she travelled to the United States where she studied to become a nun. After finishing her studies, she returned to her native land where she started working with Father Helcio at the Holy Sepulchre orphanage. With an ongoing conflict in the country between the authorities and influential drug cartels, army sergeant Ramos frequently visited the orphanage to check in. However, De la Joya (correctly) assumed Ramos was actually working for the drug lords.

(Uncanny X-Men I#327) - When Migdalia and several other orphans under De la Joya's care, discovered the amnesiac Joseph in the jungle, he initially startled them. Maria immediately pulled her double barreled shotgun on him, ready to fire despite the fact she could see the pain, pride and power in his eyes. Before she could decide, Joseph instinctively swatted the gun away with a beam of magnetic energy. The children's pleas not to hurt the sister caused Joseph to stop, right before he passed out from exhaustion.

(Uncanny X-Men I#327 - BTS) - De la Joya decided to take the passed out Joseph with her back to the orphanage. She tied him up on a bed in an empty storage shed where, for the next four days, she cared for him as he struggled to recover from his ordeal. The children observed his progress through a hole in the wooden walls of the shed.

(Uncanny X-Men I#327) - After four days, Joseph had sufficiently recovered. Still not sure who he was or how he came to be there, Sister Maria told him he could stay with her and the children as long as necessary. Over the weeks, he grew close to both Maria and the children, with the young girl Migdalia even giving him his new name "Joseph". He tried to get romantically involved with Maria, who gently reminded him she was already devoted to a higher power. Making himself useful in other ways, Joseph started working on the orphanage's broken down tractor. He then spotted the approach of colonel Ramos who had come for one of his routine visits. Joseph tried to threaten him by magnetically hurling a pitchfork at him. Maria managed to calm everyone down and took Ramos inside to have a chat, while Migdalia and the other children told Joseph what they knew about the dubious army official. Joseph swore to the children he'd always keep them safe.

(Uncanny X-Men I#327 - BTS) - Ramos, intrigued by the mysterious Joseph's powers, decided he could be of use to him and his associates. To assure his cooperation, he returned six days later with some troops and kidnapped Maria and the children. They were taken to the basement of a nearby old church while he himself waited for Joseph to come back to the orphanage. Ramos failed to press Joseph into his service and was forced to reveal their location before the magnetic mutant disposed of him. Joseph then rushed to the church where he savagely killed everyone who stood in his way.

(Uncanny X-Men I#327) - Locked in the basement, Maria did her best to comfort the children. She assured them everything would be alright and to trust in God. When the door opened and Joseph led Maria and the young orphans out, they were shocked to see the massacre he had committed. The following day Joseph, despite Maria's pleas, decided to leave the orphanage to go find himself. Before he left, Maria showed him an old copy of Time Magazine that had the original X-Men on the cover. Telling him that he was like them, she asked him to go seek the X-Men out. She then hugged him goodbye. Later, she discussed the situation with Father Helcio, unsure if she did the right thing in sending him away to find the X-Men (Maria had by now suspected Joseph might be Magneto). All Helcio could tell her was that she'd given Joseph the faith he needed to at last use his power to help humanity and that all they could do was pray for the man's soul.

(Uncanny X-Men I#345 - BTS) - Nanny, acting on Magneto's orders, sent out several of her robotic minions to discover the whereabouts of Joseph. One of them, through unrevealed means, figured out Joseph had stayed at the Holy Sepulchre orphanage and went down there to get some answers. When the creature showed up, Sister Maria managed to lure it away from the children by getting it to chase her down into the jungle.

(Uncanny X-Men I#345) - De la Joya's luck finally ran out in Guatemala when her car broke down just as the cybernetic creature was closing in on her. Denying she had any knowledge about "a man falling from the stars", she tried one desperate, final attempt at defending herself by throwing a rock at the robotic beast. This only made it mad and she was about to die if not for the fortunate arrival of Maggott (Japheth) who managed to defeat their common enemy with the help of his snails.

(Uncanny X-Men I#345 - BTS) - Maggott was also looking for Joseph (thinking he was the real Magneto who had helped save his life years earlier). Sister Maria told Maggott that Joseph had gone to America to find the X-Men, before returning home to the orphanage.

(X-Men I#86 (fb) ) - Astra used alien technology to review Joseph's memories and found out what her clone had been up to after he lost his initial battle against Magneto. She was a little surprised to see Joseph was discovered in the jungle by a nun.

(Uncanny X-Men I#368) - While working on the fields, using the tractor Joseph had repaired during his stay at the mission, Sister Maria became aware of Joseph's passing when she inadvertently picked up Charles Xavier's telepathic eulogy for their fallen comrade. Overcome with emotion, she began to cry much to the surprise of the young boy Luis who was riding on the tractor with her. She assured the child everything was fine, telling them they'd better finish their work.

Comments: Created by Scott Lobdell (writer), Joe Madureira (pencils), Tim Townsend & Al Milgrom (inks).

Just where is the good sister supposed to be from? In her first appearance, no country is given, but she does speak Spanish. In her second appearance, she claims to be from Guatemala (or at least works there), while in her last she's suddenly in Brazil and speaking Portugese. The flashback scene in X-Men I#86 leaves matters appropriately nebulous by simply stating Joseph crashed "somewhere in the jungles of Central America."

Also, not that it is relevant in any way, shape or form... Yours truly wrote his first published fan letter on this issue, which appeared several months later in "De X-Mannen", the Dutch version of Uncanny X-Men. The younger me didn't really notice or care much about Sister Maria, instead I was too busy actively speculating just who this mysterious new villain Onslaught could be. I thought he might be related to Chthon or Cytorrak. Ah, the innocence of youth.

Profile by Norvo.

Sister Maria should not be confused with


Migdalia was one of the children under the care of sister Maria de la Joya at the Holy Sepulchre orphanage. She was one of the first to discover the amnesiac clone of Magneto in the jungle. Migdalia was the one who decided the mysterious silver haired man should be called "Joseph". He later rescued her, sister Maria and the other children when they were kidnapped by colonel Ramos. She was shocked to see Joseph had slaughtered her kidnappers during his rescue attempt.

--Uncanny X-Men I#327


Umberto was one of the children under the care of sister Maria de la Joya at the Holy Sepulchre orphanage. The young boy grew close to Joseph during his weeks long stay at the orphanage, even drawing a picture for the amnesiac mutant.  Joseph later rescued him, sister Maria and the other children when they were kidnapped by colonel Ramos. He was shocked to see Joseph had slaughtered all the kidnappers during the rescue attempt and shied away from him when Joseph tried to comfort him.

--Uncanny X-Men I#327

images: (without ads)
Uncanny X-Men I#327, p5, pan7 (main image)
X-Men I#86, p19, pan1&2 (tells Joseph about the X-Men)
Uncanny X-Men I#368, p27, pan3&4 (realizes Joseph is dead)
Uncanny X-Men I#327, p7, pan4 (Migdalia)
Uncanny X-Men I#327, p11, pan2 (Umberto)

Uncanny X-Men I#327 (December, 1995) -
Scott Lobdell (writer), Joe Madureira (pencils), Tim Townsend & Al Milgrom (inks), Bob Harras (editor) 
Uncanny X-Men I#345 (June, 1997) - Scott Lobdell (writer), Joe Madureira (pencils), Tim Townsend (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
X-Men I#86 (March, 1999) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Alan Davis (pencils), Mark Farmer (inks), Mark Powers (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#368 (April, 1999) - Joe Casey (writer), Alan Davis & Adam Kubert (pencils), Mark Powers (editor)

Last updated: 05/17/14

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