Updated Summarized Life Story of St. Candida Maria de Jesus


candida maria de jesus


M. Candida, whose name was Juana Josefa Cipitria y Barriola, was born in Andoain (Guipúzcoa) on May 31, 1845 in a humble family. While still young, she leaves her land to go to work in Castile in order to collaborate in the family economy. Endowed with great sensitivity towards those most in need, she cannot be indifferent to the situations of those who live nearby.

That is why, even with the risk of being out of work, she will say “where there is no room for the poor there is no place for me”.

Her desire to do what God wants is the only motive that moves her life. On April 2, 1869, in the church "El Rosarillo" in Valladolid, before the altar of the Holy Family, she asks the Lord once again to clarify what his will is, and God with greater clarity expresses his desire: “To found a Congregation with the name of Hijas de Jesus, dedicated to the salvation of souls, through education and instruction of children and youth”.

It will be in Salamanca, on December 8, 1871, when she begins her adventure with five other women, solely with the confidence that comes from knowing that what she undertakes is "what God wants." In this way and with the name of Cándida María de Jesús, this woman of little culture and few material resources founded the Congregation of the Hijas de Jesus in one of the most important university cities of the 19th century.

The exclusion of women and the economically weak classes from the fields of education motivates Mother Candida to start this path. And, very soon, what began in Salamanca spreads throughout the Spanish geography. Later, on October 3, 1911, the first Hijas de Jesus left for Brazil, making her dream come true: "I would go to the ends of the earth in search of souls."

On August 9, 1912, Mother Candida died in Salamanca, a simple and courageous woman who made her life a constant dedication to the will of God. The Church beatified her on May 12, 1996 and Benedict XVI proclaimed her a saint on October 17, 2010.