Maria Montessori was a pioneer in understanding the child. She held five doctorates, but most of her breakthroughs came from working with and observing children around her.

Maria Montessori was very devoted to Jesus and Mary, and was also a Theosophist. She spent many years of her life in contact with the Theosophical Movement, headquartered in India. C. Jinarajadasa, secretary for the organization, writes about his conversations with her in a 1934 Theosophical Magazine:

"Every teacher who is a Theosophist is always conscious of these "trailing clouds of glory" which surrounds the child [...] Only a few weeks ago, in a conversation with me, Madame Montessori alluded to this in an exquisitely beautiful phrase when she called the child, 'un piccolo Messia,' a little Messiah. For she told me how she had noted that her best teachers had begun to change under the influence of the child [...] The child seemed to have a message not only to the teacher, but to life in general. The teacher changed not only towards the child, but also towards all life around her. In some mysterious way, the child had been to her a little Messiah. But in what way was the child that? I hope Madame Montessori herself will soon give us a treatise on this new development of her teaching. but even as she used the words, 'un piccolo Messia,' I seemed at once to see its significance."

In 1939, Maria Montessori, at the age of 69, was invited to come to India by the Theosophical Society. Because of the outbreak of the Second World War she was forced to stay in India, where her ideas received much interest.

Writing of children, she shares, "Infancy is the eternal Messiah, which continuously comes back to the arms of degraded humanity in order to entice it back to heaven."

In an article published in the Theosophist in 1941, she further explains her spiritual understanding of children. She says, “If we consider the child in this light, we shall be forced to recognize, as an absolute and urgent necessity, that care must be given to childhood,creating for it a suitable world and a suitable environment. [...]

   The man who sees clearly in himself feels the need of an inner life, just as the body feels the needs of the material life such as hunger and sleep. The soul which no longer feels its spiritual needs is in the same dangerous position as the body which is no longer capable of feeling the pangs of hunger or the need of rest.

   But if we find this concentration and this burying of the soul within itself in the child, it becomes evident that the phenomenon does not represent an exceptional state of persons who are especially endowed with spiritual gifts; but it is a universal quality of the human soul which, on account of circumstances, survives in only a few people who have reached adult age [...]

   When for the first time I discovered the existence of this aspect of the character of the children, I was surprised and I asked myself if I was not in front of an extraordinary happening; if I was not witnessing a new and marvelous mystery; because I saw being destroyed before my eyes many of the theories that the most renowned psychologists had made us believe."

Author's Bio: 

Therese Emmanuel Grey is spiritual and relationship mentor who teaches the inner family archetypes to help heal individuals and families. She has co-authored two landmark books, Why We Do What We Do and The Psychology of Success. Her autobiography, Miracles, Masters and Mirth: Adventures in Spirituality and Self-Awareness, provides extraordinary insights on the purpose of life and can be found at www.miraclesandmasters.com Therese also wrote the beautifully illustrated children's book, The Legend of the Ancient of Days, available at www.sanatkumara.info Therese nurtures a fast-growing online community of spiritual seekers and holistic minded individuals at www.lightworldwide.net. She also hosts several radio programs, including daily violet flame mantras and meditations at www.violetflamemiracles.com. Therese teaches weekly classes, webinars and facilitator training courses from her home in Montana, including the well-loved Radiant Sherpa Retreat. She also offers private sessions, where she shares highly effective insights and rituals to help you connect to your angels and sponsoring master. Find out more at www.ascendedmasterindex.com