The Jesuit Fr. Miguel San José Herranz was the man the Lord chose to help M. Candida discover her vocation in the Church and to guide her steps and those of the Congregation in the early years.
The Lord, who, in a mysterious way, often leads the paths of history, directs, for very different reasons and in very different circumstances, the steps of Fr. Herranz and Juana Josefa Cipitria to Valladolid. To him, the light of God led him to perceive an urgency in the field of the education of women and the need for a religious Institute consecrated to this service; and to her, he called her to found a Congregation, under the name of Daughters of Jesus, whose mission was to educate in the faith.
Under his guidance, Jeanne-Josephine prepared herself for the mission she was to undertake. He introduced her to Ignatian spirituality, with which she had already experienced a mysterious harmony. He helped her, guided her and collaborated with her in drawing up the plan of the Institute and its first Constitutions. He presided over the inauguration of the Congregation and gave the habit to M. Candida and her first companions. Candida and her first companions.
Before the Congregation celebrated its first anniversary, the Lord withdrew him from Salamanca, taking him, through the destiny of his Provincial, first to Vigo, then to Santiago and finally to Loyola.
Epistolary communication between them was frequent and, at two particularly significant moments in the process of the drawing up of the Constitutions and their approval by the competent ecclesiastical authority, M. Candida went to meet Fr. Herranz to discuss with him what the Lord was inspiring her.
Three great traits – righteousness, firmness and goodness – stand out in the rich personality of Fr Herranz. And his spiritual profile as a man of God is sufficiently defined in an attitude of listening to the Lord and discerning his ways, of trusting confidence in the One from whom he expects everything and who gives himself without reserve to the realisation of his will, and in a deep Marian dimension which permeates his whole life.
July is his month. This is what he says in a letter to M. Candida. Candida:
This whole month is a month of grace for me. Years ago tomorrow I left home 36, I was born, I was baptised, I entered the Society, I took my vows, I was ordained priest and I sang Mass. What a burden and responsibility. Help with your prayers your Father who always has you present in the Holy Sacraments and prayers. Servant in Christ,
Miguel S. José Herranz