Our Foundress

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St. Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y  Barriola was born and baptized as Juana Josefa , on May 31 1845, in Berrospe, Andoain, Guipuzcoa, Spain. Her father was a weaver. 

2.  Berrospe a caserio where she was born on August 9 1845.COPY

Berrospe, a caserio where she was born on August 9, 1845.


"I am for God alone" was her answer to God's first call.

COPY3. The Altar of the Holy Family in Rosarillo Church where she received the inspiration to found a Congregation

The Altar of the Holy Family in Rosarillo, Church, where she received the inspiration to found a Congregation on April 2, 1869

On December 8, 1871, Mother Candida Maria de Jesus founded a new congregation for the Christian edu­cation of children and youth and the advancement women in Salamanca under the protection of Mary, her guiding star.

Mary her guiding star COPY

Her sim­ple background and her lack of education and means at the be­ginning of the foundation, as well as throughout her life, empha­sized her trustful response to God's call and made her an apt instrument to fulfill her mis­sion.

She opened schools for children and adolescents from all social backgrounds, Sunday schools for girls employed as domestics, and involved the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus (Hijas de Jesus) in the church's pastoral plan of her time. Indeed the universalism of her charism continues to be a commitment worth considering, a precursor of what we call "social justice" today.

4COPY. San Ignacio de Loyola

She based her spirituality on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. With the collaboration of Fr. Herranz, S.J., she wrote the Constitutions and they were approved by Pope Leo X111 in 1902.


Endowed with many gifts of the Holy Spirit, she was able to achieve a great deal even to endure much suffering. Trust was a marked characteristic of her spirituality and she was never beset by doubt. Her expression, I distrust myself and place all my hope in you, my dearest Mother", reveals how deeply she trusted in our Lady, "Star of our way”.

Prayer was all important in her life and she did everything for the glory of God. She was a contemplative, a woman immersed in God who spent long hours before the tabernacle, serene even in trials and suffering. She tried to inculcate this spirit in her daughters and among the pupils at her schools.

She lived and loved poverty above all: "Where there is no room for my poor, neither is there room for me", she said, while working as a servant in Burgos. As foundress and Superior General, she was docile to the will of God and exercised her authority in a spirit of service to her brothers and sisters, governing her religious as daughters of God.

6. Her remains are kept in this vault under the Altar TableCOPY

 Her remains are kept in this vault under the Altar Table in Mostenses, Salamanca


She died in Salamanca, Spain, on 9 August 1912 and the fame of her holiness has continued to increase. She was beatified together with Bl. Antonia Bandres, a young Hija de Jesus, on May 12, 1996 by Pope John Paul II at St. Peter Square in Vatican City.

Finally, she was canonized on October 17, 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI at St. Peter Square.