The Congregation of Sisters Hospitallers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was founded in Ciempozuelos, Madrid on 31 May 1881, by St Benedict Menni, Priest of the Order of St John of God, María Josefa Recio and María Angustias Giménez, who were chosen by God to provide a solution for the lack of healthcare for, and social exclusion of the mentally ill of that period. Their work would combine two fundamental aspects: charity and science.
María Josefa Recio and María Angustias Giménez, together with eight other sisters, represent the feminine face of Hospitality: women who are committed, as a result of their faith, to the merciful liberation of other women. Together with Benedict Menni, they formed the founding group that dedicated their lives to provide an answer for a profoundly neglected sector of society: the mentally ill.
The congregation’s mission embodies and expresses the charism of Hospitality. The Sisters Hospitallers devoted themselves to continue Jesus’ mission of care for the mentally ill and the physically and mentally handicapped, with special attention for the poor, who are still forgotten and neglected. To this day, the majority of the congregation’s work focuses on mental illness, although its services include other apostolic activities, provided that they are related to the charism of hospitality. At present the congregation is present in 27 countries, Europe, South America, Africa and Asia.
The conservation and recreation of the charism of hospitality requires that all of the people involved in the project (sisters, co-workers, volunteers, families of the beneficiaries of our services etc.) cultivate and demonstrate the values, culture and very aims of the congregation.