Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Short Cuts

Facts

Birth: 1862

Death: 1916

Beatified By: Pope John Paul II


Juana María Condesa Lluch (1862-1916), Foundress of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Immaculate Conception, Protectress of Workers. She was born in Valencia, Spain, on 30 March 1862, into a wealthy Christian family. She received a well-rounded human and Christian formation from her parents. She was deeply devoted to the Eucharist and to the Blessed Mother, opening her eyes and heart to the needs of those around her and nourishing a deep the desire to help the neediest. She had a deep prayer life and already as an adolescent, felt that God was calling her to live in deep communion with Him. Those who knew her saw that she "lived the ordinary in an extraordinary way". Her joy, self-giving and humility enabled her to touch a multitude of hearts.

She was especially sensitive to the plight of the exploited factory workers who, with the rapid growth of industrialization in the 19th century, were forced to leave the countryside to seek work in the cities. Their only option was work on the assembly-line; they were usually treated as mere "instruments" and stripped of their dignity. Juana wanted to help them materially, morally and spiritually. When she was only 18 years old, she felt called to consecrate herself totally to God and to found a religious order that would be committed to helping exploited workers and their families.

The Archbishop of Valencia, Cardinal Antolín Monescillo, considered her too young to begin a Congregation, but after struggling for several years, in 1884 she received permission to open a shelter to welcome and to offer spiritual formation and human dignity to the oppressed workers.

A few months later, Juana opened a school for the factory workers' children in the shelter. She was joined by other young women who also felt called to the religious life and to "live and give their all for the good of the workers". Convinced that this religious family was a fruit of the Spirit for the good of the Church in the 19th century, Juana continued her work to have it approved by the Church as a religious congregation. She followed Christ and, embracing the evangelical counsels, devoted her life to serving him in the workers.

In 1892, the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Immaculate Conception, Protectress of Workers, received diocesan approval. The number of its members rapidly increased and it spread in other industrial zones. In 1895, Juana and the first sisters made their first vows and in 1911 their perpetual profession.

A key to Sr Juana's spirituality is her desire to be known as the "the Handmaid of the Lord", living, like Mary, unconditional acceptance of God's will, conforming to God's will and seeing God's will in everyday events. As she said so often to her sisters, she longed "to be holy in heaven, without any ostentation on earth". She was known as a "Biblical woman, full of courage in her decisions and evangelical in her action". It was this "evangelical action" that she was anxious to pass on to her sisters, desiring that they live with total confidence in God and, through their lives, transmit to the workers around them "the Gospel Beatitudes".

Mother Juana died in Valencia, Spain, on 16 January 1916. On 14 April 1937, the Congregation received temporary pontifical approval from Pope Pius XI; on 27 January 1947 definitive approval from Pope Pius XII.

Biography Provided By: The Vatican


Bl. Juana Maria Condesa Lluch Comments




More Saints





Browse Saints by Category


Popular Saints

Rank

Saint

82.

Image of St. Anne

St. Anne

Also called Euphemianus, a widow, born in Constantinople. From a good family, Anne was forced to marry. When widowed, she assumed a male disguise and the name of Euphemianus. As this male, ... continue reading

83.

Image of St. John of God

St. John of God

From the time he was eight to the day he died, John followed every impulse of his heart. The challenge for him was to rush to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit gave him, not his own ... continue reading

84.

Image of St. Sofia

St. Sofia

According to an Eastern allegory explaining the cult of Divine Wisdom, Faith, Hope, and Charity were the daughters of Wisdom (known as Sofia in the Roman Martyrology on September 30th), a ... continue reading

All Popular Saints

Saint of the Day

Image of St. Wolfgang

St. Wolfgang

Wolfgang (d. 994) + Bishop and reformer. Born in Swabia, Germany, he studied at Reichenau under the Benedictines and at Wurzburg before serving as a teacher in the cathedral school of Trier. He soon ... continue reading

More Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day by E-Mail

Saint of the Day newsletter icon

Learn about the lives of the saints and other saint resources, including a calendar, over 5,000 saint biographies, our most popular saints, and a list of patron saints. 7 days / week. See Sample


Required


Female Saints

Image of St. Helena

St. Helena

Empress mother of Constantine the Great. She was a native of Bithynia, who married the then Roman general Constantius I Chlorus about 270. Constantine was born soon after, and in 293, Constantius was made Caesar, or junior emperor. He divorced Helena to marry co ... continue reading

More Female Saints



Saint Calendar
Saint Feast Days
Saint Fun Facts

Angels

Image of St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading


Image of St. Gabriel, the Archangel

St. Gabriel, the Archangel

The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading



Saints Fun Facts

Saints Fun Facts for St. Anthony Mary Claret

St. Anthony Mary Claret

Claretian archbishop and founder. Anthony was born in Salient in Catalonia, Spain, in 1807, the son of a weaver. He took up weaving but then studied for the priesthood, desiring to be a Jesuit. Ill ... continue reading

Saints Fun Facts for St. Francis Borgia

St. Francis Borgia

Francis was a young nobleman at the court of the King of Spain. He became a Duke when he was only thirty-three and lived a happy, peaceful life with his wife Eleanor and their eight children. But ... continue reading



Christian Saints & Heroes

Image of St. Teresa of Avila

Saint Teresa of Avila: Virgin and Doctor of Prayer

By Deacon F.K. Bartels

St. Teresa's whole life is one of simple beauty and fervent purpose; it is a life contained in Christ. She shows us how to live the same way through Prayer.On reading from St. Teresa, a deep feeling of her love for His Majesty envelops us; we begin, in a very real, ... continue reading

More Christian Saints & Heroes

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Philippians 1:1-11
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! I give thanks to Yahweh with all my ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 14:1-6
1 Now it happened that on a Sabbath day he had gone ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 31st, 2014 Image

St. Wolfgang
October 31: Wolfgang (d. 994) + Bishop and reformer. Born in Swabia, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter