Religious Founder (1862-1916)
+ Juana Maria was born in Valencia, Spain, and perceived a call to service early in her life. As she matured, she developed a deep prayer life and eventually discerned a call to life as a religious.
+ As she came to understand her vocation, she perceived a special mission to help factory workers who often lived in horrible, de-humanizing conditions.
+ Although the archbishop initially rejected her proposal to form a new community for this mission, she was given permission open a shelter to provide housing and assistance to the workers and their families.
+ A short time later, she opened a school for the workers’ children and other women joined her work. This formed the basis for a new community: the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Immaculate Conception, Protectress of Workers.
+ Today, the sisters of this community serve as teachers, spiritual directors, and advocates for the poor.
+ Blessed Juana Maria Condesa Lluch died in Valencia on January 16, 1916, and was beatified in 2003.
For prayer and reflection
“This is how all will know that you are my disciples: if you have love for one another.”—John 13:35
On this day, the Church remembers Saint Priscilla of Rome. Although the details of her life have been forgotten, she has long been associated with the Apostle Peter. She is best-known for the Catacomb of St. Priscilla, which is named in her honor.
O God, who have taught your Church to keep all the heavenly commandments by love of you as God and love of neighbor; grant that, practicing the works of charity after the example of blessed Juana Maria, we may be worthy to be numbered among the blessed in your Kingdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For Those Who Practices Works of Charity)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.