SISTER JOSEPH MENÉNDEZ
apostle of God’s goodness and mercy
In each generation, God chooses the soul whom He prepares as a tool to wholly serve Him, for the manifestation to the people of His love and His mercy. Josefa Menendez was one of such souls. She was born on February 4th, 1890 in Madrid in deeply Catholic family and was baptized on February 9. In her family life, Josefa was straightforward, serious, hardworking, lively and cheerful, with a strong personality and able to take the role of the oldest child, on which the parents could count always.
At the age of five she received the sacrament of Confirmation. For the first Holy Communion, however, in accordance with the then-custom, she had to wait till she was eleven. That day, March 19th, 1901, deeply influenced her life. She realized that the Lord wants to have her completely for Himself. “Yes, I want you to completely belonged to me.” These words were written in the inner depths of her soul. “From that moment – Josefa would write many years later, I felt something unusual deep inside, and what never left me anymore.” Later she realized that this day was the first call to the religious life. She fulfilled her vocation by joining the Congregation of the Sacred Heart (Sacré Coeur) in France, in Poitiers in 1920. She matured through suffering, having the gift of a very simple prayer and very profound inner life. Josefa immediately felt good in the religious environment that she had chosen and her life was simiar to the life of Jesus of Nazareth. God, who had his intentions for her, waited there for her. He wanted to use her to re-affirm to the world His Love, His Mercy and His Longing. The enemy was harassing her trying to frustrate God’s plan, but unsuccessfully.
Our Lord was appearing to Josefa, starting from her arrival to Poitiers until her death. Noteworthy, despite of the large repulsion Josefa felt to her unusual calling, she was very obedient to the superiors of religious order and Church and put faith in Christ the Lord. She went through all the stages of religious life: 16 July 1920 she become a novice, on 16th of July 1922 she made her first vows, and 12 December 1923 made her perpetual vows, which required very special permission, after receiving from the hands of the bishop of Poitiers de Durfort the sacrament of the sick. God called Josefa to Him on December 29th, 1923.