A profound experience of God's love led Blessed Cándida María de Jesús to correspond to that love with generosity and decisiveness.This was the description of the Spanish nun and founder given by Pope John Paul II at her beatification in 1996. Now, Blessed Candida is set to become one of the Church's newly recognized saints; Benedict XVI announced last Friday that she will be canonized Oct. 17.
Juana Josefa Cipitria y Barriola was born in Spain in 1845. She was always sensitive to the needy and abandoned and felt at an early age that she was "for God alone."
In 1868, at age 23, she met Jesuit Father Miguel José Herranz, who helped her respond to her call to found a congregation. Thus it was that in 1871, the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus was born.During her beatification, John Paul II would recall how the future saint expressed "her charity to her neighbor in the foundation of the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus, with the charism of Christian education, of children and youth."
Saving many souls
The congregation is devoted to education in all its forms, and inspired in the spirituality of St. Ignatius. The Daughters of Jesus offer Ignatian spiritual exercises.
The founder always endeavored to pay great attention to her religious, to the beneficiaries of her works, to priests, to students and to the neediest.
One day she told one of her students: "You will be a Daughter of Jesus." And indeed, young Maria Antonia Bandrés y Elósegui would join the congregation, and would be beatified on the same day as her founder.
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