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Bl. Candelaria of St. Joseph, Virgin

Bl. Candelaria of St. Joseph, Virgin

February 1, 2024

Susana Paz-Castillo Ramírez, born in 1863, responded fervently to her calling to holiness from an early age. She notably dedicated herself to compassionate charity, tending to the sick and wounded left by strife in her birth city's streets. Encouraged by Father Sixto Sosa, she consecrated herself to serve the sick at San Antonio Hospital, founded in 1903.

Driven by her dedication, she initiated the formation of a new religious congregation devoted to aiding the impoverished. Established in 1910 as the "Congregation of the Sisters of the Poor of Altagracia de Orituco," it later became affiliated with the Carmelite Order, known as the Third Order of Regular Carmelites, or the Venezuelan Carmelite Sisters, and the Carmelites of Mother Candelaria.

Mother Candelaria showed unwavering commitment and enthusiasm despite economic hardships, tirelessly tending to the wounded from wars and the poorest sick, demonstrating deep trust in Divine Providence and a profound love for the most vulnerable. Her profound love for God and selfless dedication to the poor positioned her as an exemplar of virtues, notably her unwavering faith in Jesus Christ, her devotion to the Church and Venezuelan bishops, and her boundless charity for the neediest.

Her beatification occurred on April 27, 2008, in Caracas, Venezuela. Cardinal José Saraiva Martins presided over this historic event, the first beatification celebrated in Venezuela, reflecting the profound impact of Mother Candelaria's life and legacy.

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