Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

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Institute of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Abbreviation A.C.I. or A.C.J.
Type Roman Catholic religious order
  • Rome, Italy

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.


Rafaela Maria Porras y Allyon[edit]

Ra faela maria porras born in Pedro Abad, Spain, on March 1, 1850. She was the youngest of seven children of well-to-do, pious parents, Ildefonso and Rafaela (Ayllón y Castillo) Porras. She and her sister, María Dolores, entered the novitiate of the Sisters of Mary Reparatrix,[2] 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.

Rafaela Maria Porras y Ayllon was beatified by Pope Pius XII in 1952 and canonized in 1977 by Pope Paul VI.

Communities of the Sacred Heart[edit]

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[edit]

Spain [1][edit]



Colegio Universitario Inglés

United States[edit]

Ancillae Assumpta Academy


St. Raphaela's School


Seisen International School
Seisen University Gotanda, Tokyo
Seisen Jogakuin College Nagano Pref.




  1. ^ http://www.vis.va/vissolr/index.php?lang=en "Vatican Information Service", Vatican City, 24 September 2012. Retrieved on 24 September 2012.
  2. ^ "Saint Raphaela Mary, Our Foundress", Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, United States Province

External links[edit]