Nuns Devoted to God as Father to Have Saint-Founder

Blessed Cándida María de Jesús Will Be Canonized Sunday

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By Carmen Elena Villa

ROME, OCT. 14, 2010 ( The Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus are awaiting this Sunday with eagerness. On that day, their founder will be canonized in St. Peter’s.

Blessed Cándida María de Jesús (1845-1912), a Spanish religious, born Juana Josefa Cipitria y Barriola, will be recognized along with five other blesseds.

For the sisters the event «is a strong call to a more holy and dedicated life,» and an occasion to renew «the dream of living every day according to the values of the Gospel and of being more centered on the person of Jesus Christ, as Mother Cándida was,» Sister Anna Maria Cinco Castro, a member of this community and the postulator for the cause of canonization, told ZENIT.

Juana Josefa was born May 31, 1845, in northeastern Spain. She always expressed special sensitivity for the poorest, for abandoned children and for prisoners. 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 in Salamanca together with five women and inspired in Ignatian spirituality.
The Daughters of Jesus are called to live in a filial attitude to God as Father, characterized by trust and security in his unconditional love and praise. They seek to speak of God to the neediest peoples. Mary also has a special place in their life.  
They live an intense spiritual life, «in a filial attitude to God as Father, characterized by identification with Jesus, trust, security in his unconditional love and praise,» said Sister Anna Maria.
The religious number a total of 1,025. They are present in eight countries of Latin America, six Asian countries, and Mozambique in Africa.
They are dedicated to education and see the school as a home of encounter in the Christian community. They engage in the pedagogy of personalized education with a positive focus.

Sister Anna Maria spoke of her founder as a saint who always showed «a great spirit of faith that enabled her to see people, events and things under the light of God.»

She was a woman who always radiated «her close and constant relationship with Jesus,» the postulator concluded, «which made her seek to be like him as a son is like his father.»

The miracle leading to the canonization of Blessed Cándida María de Jesús involved one of the sisters of the congregation. Sister María del Carmen del Val Rodíguez, who came out of a 12-day coma after the sisters made a novena to the founder.

Sister María del Carmen suffered Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy that led to progressive loss of strength until she fell into a coma in 2000. Doctors said any therapy would be useless. But on Nov. 4, the religious suddenly opened her eyes. A few days later, she was beginning to talk. By Dec. 1, she was discharged with no remaining symptoms.

Doctors gave her several neurological examinations that confirmed her good state of health and total absence of neurological and physical incapacity, facts which were deemed scientifically inexplicable.

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