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Rafaela Ybarra: Mother of seven who founded a Congregation to help the young and marginalized

MOTHER Ma. JESí?S HERNANDOCongregation of the Guardian Angels“Little girls between 14 and 16 years of age were the ones traveling to Bilbao. That?s who she began to work with. She found a residence form them and on the weekends, she would work with them. It was her way of trying to give them just a small token of formation. A place where they could prepare for the future.” She founded the Congregation of the Guardian Angels in 1849. Her mission was to have the poor girls be successful, whether as mothers or as professionals. Now , together with the Rafaela Ybarra Foundation, they have homes and residences that offer formation and skill training. They welcome children rescued from dire situations.  All of this is possible through the collaboration of families that sponsor the children they take care of.MOTHER Ma. JESUS HERNANDOCongreagation of the Guardian Angels“In Brazil, children are picked up from the streets. Other times we are given custody of children who are just a few months old, who have been found in garbage bins. When fights break out in the ?favelas? or slums,  many people use firearms and end up in jail. We welcome their abandoned children, as well. After the sisters have helped them recover from the initial shock and trauma, they are usually adopted.”The sisters also have schools and universities in Spain and Latin America. The have a presence in places where they are needed the most. MOTHER Ma. JESUS HERNANDOCongregation of the Guardian Angels“We have schools in poor areas, for example in Argentina, in the San Raphael neighborhood. It is a completely marginalized area. They call it ?the stabbing neighborhood.? Ours is the only educational center there.”Rafaela Ybarra never stopped working for youths. It?s a mission that was strengthened even more as a  mother and a grandmother. She died in the year 1900. She was beatified 84 years later by Pope John Paul II. Her example encourages these religious sisters to continue working with the marginalized in different areas of the world. OFL@odelafu / JG/KLH MG-JM-PRu:SCar