Josephine Teresa was born into a poor family at Benigánim (Valencia), Spain, on
January 9, 1625. She entered the local Augustinian convent of the discalced
observance of the Order as a lay sister, taking the name Josephine Mary of Saint
Agnes. This convent had been founded in 1597 by the Archbishop of Valencia, Saint
John of Ribera. All of Josephine’s religious life was marked by the workings of grace.
While her demeanor was simple and humble and her efforts dedicated to the service of
the community, she possessed a remarkable spirit of contemplation. Though her formal
education was minimal, her gifts of counsel and theological understanding were very
evident, to the extent that she was admitted among the choir sisters in 1663. Mother
Agnes, as she was commonly known, died on January 21, 1692 and was beatified by
Pope Leo XIII on February 26, 1888. Her remains are preserved in the Augustinian
convent at Benigánim.
Blessed Josephine exemplifies well the Augustinian values of humility and
simplicity in the service of others. These, together with her attraction toward the
interior life and her contemplative spirit are characteristics which recommend her
to society today, in search of remedies for anxiety and the tensions of life.