Author and Publisher - Catholic Online
From her childhood, Juana Maria Condesa Lluch, of Valencia, Spain, was devoted to the exercise of prayer centered upon the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin Mary. This piety nurtured in her a special solicitude for the plight of factory workers exploited by their greedy employers. When at the age of eighteen she resolved to consecrate her life to God, she conceived the idea of founding a religious congregation dedicated to assisting these workers spiritually, morally, and materially, but her archbishop considered her too young for such an undertaking. Nonetheless, four years later, she obtained permission to establish a shelter for exploited workers, and shortly afterward, a school for the workers' children. Other young women joined her in this apostolate, which eventually became the congregation she had envisioned, the Handmaids of the Immaculate Conception, Protectress of Workers. As mother superior of the Handmaids, she imparted to the sisters an understanding of their vocation as an imitation of the Blessed Virgin's total submission to the will of God. Mother Juana died on January 16, 1916.
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By Marshall Connolly, (California Network)
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