Wednesday, October 27, 2010
My mother earned a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education and was a school teacher for 35 years. Back then, in the mid 1950s, when she graduated from high school, women were expected to get married and have a family. Men were the ones who went to college, so I've been told.
But, one of the newest Roman Catholic saints, St. Candida Maria of Jesus, who was canonized on Oct. 17, 2010, made it part of her life's mission to help women have a proper education. And this was in the 1800s.
She was born Juana Josefa Cipitria Barriola on March 31, 1845 in Guipuzcoa, Spain. When she was 18, she left home to work as a maid, but soon had a spiritual calling.
St. Candida Maria of Jesus founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1871. Her spiritual teachings were based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
She worked to help women and children through education and the establishment of schools and colleges. St. Candida Maria of Jesus died in Salamanca, Spain on Aug. 9, 1912 and her feast day is Aug. 9.