“God is our loving Father, and He
takes care of us.”
-St. Candida Ma. De Jesus
Josefa Cipitria y Barriola, was born in Andoain (Guipuzcoa, Spain) on May 31, 1845 to a poor family. As a young girl she left her land to work in Castile in order to help her family financially.
Her desire to do God’s will was the sole driving force in her life. On April 2, 1869, in the church of "The Rosarillo" in Valladolid, before the altar of the Holy Family, she asked the Lord once again to make his will clear to her, and God more clearly expressed his desire “to found a Congregation with the name of Daughters of Jesus, dedicated to the salvation of souls, through education and instruction of children and youth”.
It was in Salamanca on December 8, 1871, when, with five other women, her adventure began with nothing more than the trust born of the knowledge that what one undertakes is “what God wants”. In this manner and with the name of Candida Maria de Jesus, this woman of scant education and scarce material means founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus in one of the most important university cities of the 19th century.
The exclusion of women and the economically weaker classes from the fields of education moved Mother Candida to begin this path. And very soon what began in Salamanca extended throughout the Spanish geography. Later, on October 3, 1911, the first Daughters of Jesus set out for Brazil, fulfilling her dream: “I would go to the ends of the earth in search of souls”.
On August 9, 1912, Mother Candida, simple and courageous woman who made her life a constant surrender to the will of God, died in Salamanca. The Church, in Rome, beatified her on May 12, 1996 and canonized her on October 17, 2010. Today, the Congregation is present in 19 countries, at the service of others and with special attention to the most needy.