Blessed Juana María Condesa Lluch
Valencia, Spain, March 30, 1862 – January 16, 1916
Born in Valencia in 1862 into a wealthy family, since she was young she took to heart the plight of women workers, who she saw from her coach. At twenty-two, overcoming the resistance of the bishop who felt too young for that task, she opened a home for young workers. It was the embryo of what would become the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception of the Worker. She died January 16, 1916.
Roman Martyrology: At Valencia in Spain, Blessed Juana Maria Condesa Lluch, virgin reminder that the spirit of charity and sacrifice is dedicated to assisting in humble laboriousness the poor, children and young workers, for whose protection and education she founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception protect Worker.
Juana Maria Condesa Lluch was born in Valencia (Spain) March 30 1862, to a Christian family of good socio-economic position. She was christened March 31, 1862 in the church of Saint Stephan, in which also were baptized St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Louis Bertrán. She received a thorough human and Christian formation, which contrasted with the rationalist mentality that opened slowly in the Valencian society and that these rise to a wave of Christianization. During the period of adolescence and youth, she strengthened her life as a Christian, feeding her religious devotions of the historic moment in which she lived, especially the devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the Immaculate Conception, to St. Joseph and Santa Teresa, which led, in turn, to becoming progressively more sensitive and committed to the most needy.
Very soon she discovered the gift of God who was leading in abundance in his heart (cf. Rom 5, 5) and made it her mission to accept this gift in her life in order to be the “Sanctuary of God, home of the Spirit” (cf. 1 Cor 3, 16). Her intense life of prayer, her constant relationship with God, were the force that made it possible for her to gain the fruits of the one who lives by the Spirit: joy, humility, perseverance, the domain of itself, peace, kindness, dedication, hard work, solidarity … faith, hope and love. For all this, those who knew she presented herself as a woman who managed to live the ordinary in an extraordinary way.
She was just 18 years, when she discovered that the will of God on her life was to be whole and completely abandon the cause of the Kingdom, by means of evangelization and service to women workers, an interest in living and working in these youth: a reality of suffering, which noted that the coach led Valencia to the beach of Nazareth, where the family had a home for rest and relief.
In 1884, after several years of difficulties and obstacles, especially by the Archbishop of Valencia, Cardinal Antolín Monescillo that it believed she was too young to complete the proposal that was to found a religious congregation, she gained from him permission to open a home that accepted, and formed ridesse dignity to workers that, given the growing process of industrialization of the nineteenth century, moved from country to town to work in factories, where they were considered mere work tools, “Great is your faith and your steadfastness. Go and open an asylum for those workers for whom you care so much with interest and for which your heart feels so much affection.” A few months later, in this very house was inaugurated a school for the daughters of workers, other young people joined the project who shared the same ideals. From the moment she began to take shape in her life what he experienced as the will of God: “I and all my workers for. It was not a phrase that was the area that made possible the call of God and the response of a person, Giovanna Maria Condesa Lluch.
Convinced that her work was the fruit of the Spirit and eager to make it a reality, the Church, she continued to insist on obtaining a permit to be able to organize as a religious congregation and so follow Christ, giving her life for him in serving the workers, an effort that required exclusivity and, hence, herchoice to live in chastity, and obedience in poverty in a radical way. Purified in the test and maintaining a calm spirit, strong and confident: “Lord, mantienimi stops next to your cross”, making the light of her faith, hope and its strength of her soul, gained the approval of diocesan Institute in 1892, which grew in members and spread in different industrial areas, in 1895 issued a temporary profession, along with first sisters in 1911 and perpetual profession.
During all these years of her life, she lived the example of the Immaculate Virgin, and was an unconditional donation to the will of God, making her the words of Mary dell’Angelo the announcement: “Here is the servant of the Lord, we face me according to your word “(Lk 1, 38), words that were transformed in a spirituality and lifestyle, to the point to define itself as” the handmaiden of Ancella of the Lord “and give name and meaning to the congregation that you founded.
On January 16, 1916, Mother Giovanna Maria Condesa Lluch moved to contemplate the face of God for all eternity, reaching quell’anelito of holiness expressed many times to the sisters with these words: “To be holy in the sky, without raising dust on the earth” . Expression denoting how her life was spent according to the Spirit of Jesus Christ, combining the most sublime experience, the intimacy with God, with the commitment that the young workers to reach this sublime vocation, be the image and likeness of the Creator, and who pose as her manifesto be the “Women’s Bible, full of courage in the choices and evangelical works, as it was defined by one of Consultors theologians who studied the virtues.
The Institute, fed by the strong will of its founder, April 14, 1937 obtained the temporary papal approval from Pope Pius XI and January 27, 1947 the final approval by His Holiness Pope Pius XII.
The opening of the diocesan process of canonization of Mother Maria Giovanna happened in Valencia in 1953. Her heroic virtues were approved in 1997, and July 5, 2002, in the presence of His Holiness John Paul II, was promulgated the decree of approval of a miracle attributed to her intercession.
Pope John Paul II proclaimed her blessed on March 23, 2003.
SOURCE: Santi e Beati