Blessed Cándida María de Jesús (secular name Juana Josefa Cipitria y Barriola) (May 31, 1845 - August 9, 1912) was a Spanish nun. She founded the Congregation of the Hijas de Jesús (Daughters of Jesus) on December 8, 1871 in Salamanca, Spain.
She was born in Berrospe, Andoain, Guipuzcoa, in the Basque region of Spain. Her father was a weaver, and the family was poor.
In 1863, when she was 23, she met Jesuit Father Miguel José Herranz, who helped her in her call to form a Congregation.
She died on August 9, 1912.
On May 12, 1996, she was beatified, together with another Hijas de Jesus, Maria Antonia Bandres y Elosegui, by Pope John Paul II.
In July 2009, a meeting took place between Archbishop Angelo Amato, the Prefect for the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and Pope Benedict XVI. In that meeting, the Pope formally approved a second miracle that the Congregation (first its medical panel, then the theological panel, then the prelate members) had reviewed and voted to approve. This clears the way for the date to be announced for her canonization by Benedict.
On February 19, 2010, Pope Benedict announced that her canonization will take place on October 17, 2010.The Congregation of the Hijas de Jesús (Daughters of Jesus) is a Roman Catholic Congregation founded on December 8, 1871 in Salamanca by Blessed Cándida María de Jesús, together with five other women. They were assisted by Jesuit Father Miguel José Herranz. Known as the Jesuitinas in Spain, their work is primarily educational, and includes the founding of schools and colleges.
The Congregation is devoted to education in all its forms, and is inspired in the spirituality of St. Ignatius, offering Ignatian spiritual exercises.
The Congregation expanded rapidly in Spain and in 1911, it began its first international expansion to Brazil, followed by China in 1931. Since then, the Congregation continued their work of evangelization through education and today, can be found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, China, Spain, the Philippines, Italy, Japan, Mozambique, Dominican Republic, Taiwan and Venezuela. 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.
Blessed Cándida María constantly encouraged her daughters through her writings: "How grateful we must be for the very great benefit the Lord did us by calling us to this our beloved congregation so that we should be his dear daughters and brides and save many souls for heaven!" she said in one of her letters.In a short time the congregation spread throughout Spain, opening schools in various cities. In 1911, the year before Blessed Cándida died, the first group of the Daughters of Jesus left for Brazil, which was the first foundation outside of Spain."Where there is no room for the poor there is no room for me," the future saint once affirmed.
Today her congregation is working in eight Latin American countries, two European countries, six Asian countries, and in Mozambique in Africa.
The congregation's Web page explains: "The face of God which we contemplate invites us to fraternity with everyone, gratuitousness, simplicity, joy.""It's true that the present-day reality can sink us in discouragement, can prostrate us thinking that we are a very small drop in the great sea of this world so broken by the absence of God," observed one Daughter of Jesus, reflecting on the canonization of her founder. "But I feel that Mother Candida says to me and says to us: Trust in him who said one day, I am the Light, I am the Life!"
Mother Candida deserved to be a saint because she did everything a saint could do. She founded a congregation and schools.She also helped the poor in every way possible. As the saying goes, "Live for nothing or die for something."
We asked Peter Umlas, a student of Manresa School, to answer a few questions about Blessed Candida Maria de Jesus:
Q: Who is Mother Candida?
Peter: Blessed Candida Maria de Jesus correspond to God’s love with generosity and decisiveness.
Q: What makes Mother Candida a saint?
Peter: She did miracles that really helped the people and she is very helpful to the poor.
Q: What is the impact of Mother Candida in your life?
Peter: Mother Candida is very inspiring because even though she did not study, she still found a congregation that helped the children to become closer to God.
Q: What is the challenge of Mother Candida to you as Manresan?Peter: The challenge of Mother Candida for me is to follow her footsteps. She is really kind to the poor and she is only for God alone.
Mother Candida announced to be a saint with others on October 17