The congregation of Sisters Hospitallers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was founded on 31 May 1881 in Ciempozuelos (Madrid, Spain)
The congregation of Sisters Hospitallers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was founded on 31 May 1881 in Ciempozuelos (Madrid, Spain) by St. Benedict Menni, a priest of the Order of St. John of God, María Josefa Recio, and María Angustias Giménez. Open to the spirit, they were chosen by God to mitigate the situation of healthcare neglect and social exclusion among women suffering from mental illness at the time. In the beginning, they were guided by two criteria that remain fundamental to the practice of hospitality today: charity and science.
The early days were particularly challenging. It was a project of overwhelming magnitude to address the abandonment of the sick and the lack of adequate public health care, especially apparent in instances of psychiatric illness, skeletal malformations among children, scrofula, tuberculosis, and other maladies, the sufferers of which were marginalised and largely left to their own devices.
Benedict Menni, María Josefa Recio, María Angustias Giménez, and a group of eight sisters dedicated themselves to helping women suffering from mental illness, a neglected segment of society at the time. This is how the female side of hospitality began to develop.
A shortage of means—of economic and healthcare resources—is only offset by the generous dedication of the sisters and the invaluable help of co-workers, benefactors, and volunteers.
It is the work of the Spirit that grows and expands throughout Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia.
Both the mission and the founding spirit of the congregation persist and are essential to the vocation of helping the most disadvantaged in an inhospitable world.