Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
|Abbreviation||A.C.I. or A.C.J.|
|Type||Roman Catholic religious order|
Sister Inmaculada Fukasawa, A.C.J.
|Key people||Saint Raphaela Maria Porras y Ayllon, A.C.J., foundress|
|Website||Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus|
The Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Latin: Ancillae Cordis Iesu; Spanish: Esclavas del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús) is a Roman Catholic religious institute that was founded in Madrid, Spain, in 1877 by two sisters, María Dolores and Raphaela Maria Porras y Ayllon. Rafaela Maria became its first superior general in 1877 and in the same year, the congregation received papal approval. The focus of the institute is on "children's education and helping at retreats", reflected in its 140 convents in 23 countries, and the number of schools that it has founded.
Members of the institute carry the letters A.C.I. or A.C.J., after their names.
Saint Rafaela Maria Porras y Allyon
Rafaela María Porras y Allyon was born in Pedro Abad, Spain, on March 1, 1850. She and her sister, María Dolores, entered the novitiate of the Sisters of Mary Reparatrice, where Dolores was given the name of Sister María del Pilar, but they were denied from taking religious vows by the actions of the local bishop, which forced them to move to Madrid. In 1877, under the authority of the Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo, the sisters took their vows and founded the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
After serving as the first Superior General, Rafaela resigned in 1893, spending the next 32 years in prayer and contemplation at the congregation's house in Rome. She died in Rome, on the 25th of January, 1925.
Communities of the Sacred Heart
The Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are one of many religious communities that share "a historical connection to the spirituality of the Sacred Heart". Common elements among the Sacred Heart religious communities are identified as:
Schools founded by the institute
- http://www.vis.va/vissolr/index.php?lang=en "Vatican Information Service", Vatican City, 24 September 2012. Retrieved on 24 September 2012.
- Portugal Province Official website