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The Quest for Her Vocation
During her youth, the desire to consecrate her entire life to her friend Jesus was growing towards maturity, and she knew the poor and needy well. Anxious to discover God’s will with respect to her life, she went to the places where people where suffering; yet the discernment was not easy. She would have liked to take care of the sick, but in a Hospital, she was surprised by the lack of interest a Sister she was accompanying manifested for a dying man. The Sister said to her, “Don’t worry, your heart too will soon harden,” and the good Josefa replied, “Before letting my heart harden, I prefer to leave.” And that is what she did.
At age 21, she decided to take the big step to realize the dream of her life: consecrate herself to God in religious life. She went off on 15 October, feast of Saint Theresa of Avila. “… I left my parents’ home with the great desire to be a saint, to become a little like Saint Theresa… who was not afraid of anything… I wanted to be like her and, so, I left the house on that day, leaving my mother on the bed of suffering without the hope of seeing her again” (Exhor.15.10.65).
In Villena (Alicante), she entered the last and poor convent of the Daughters of Calvary, which was already on its way to extinction. There, she received, at the moment of her religious profession, the name Esperanza (Hope). Shortly after this, the Daughters of Calvary were incorporated into the Institute of the Claretian Missionaries, dedicated to teaching. Esperanza also became a member of this Institute, in which she made her perpetual profession.