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Bl. Candelaria of St. Joseph, Virgin

candelariastjoseph 3501 February Optional Memorial

Bl Candelaria was born Susana Paz-Castillo Ramírez in 1863. She enthusiastically welcomed the call of God to holiness, and since her youth, stood out in practicing living and effective charity, with which she cared for, consoled and healed the sick and wounded that strife had left on the streets of her birth city.

Encouraged by Father Sixto Sosa, later bishop of Cumana, she consecrated herself to the service of the sick of San Antonio Hospital, founded in 1903.

Later, she began the foundation of a new religious congregation, dedicated to serving the poor. The congregation was definitively established in 1910 with the name "Congregation of the Sisters of the Poor of Altagracia de Orituco." Afterward, the congregation was affiliated to the Carmelite Order, and was called the Third Order of Regular Carmelites. Today they are known as the Venezuelan Carmelite Sisters or Carmelites of Mother Candelaria.

With great tenacity and enthusiasm, in spite of the economic straits of the congregation, and the general scarcity of resources, Mother Candelaria performed a widespread, attentive labour to those wounded by wars and the poorest sick people, showing a great trust in Divine Providence, and an intense love for the most needy.

Because of her ardent love for God and her generous and selfless surrender to the poor, under the direction of the bishops and in the company of the religious of her congregation, this new Venezuelan blessed is today an example of virtues, standing out among them, her living and intense faith in Jesus Christ, our only saviour; her union with and love for the Church, particularly the Venezuelan bishops, and her lively charity for the poorest.

The beatification of Mother Candelaria of St. Joseph took place on April 27, 2008, in Caracas, Venezuela.

 

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