St. Jose Manyanet y Vives was born on January 7, 1883 in Catalonia, Spain. At the age of five, José’s mother dedicated him to the Virgin Mary, and later entered the seminary while still a youth. He was ordained in 1859 and served as the secretary of the bishop of Urgell, the seminary librarian, and the chancery administrator before responding to the call to found two religious congregations.
He founded the Congregation of the Sons of the Holy Family in 1864, and the Missionary Daughters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in 10 years later, both dedicated to the education and protection of the Christian family, as well as education and parish ministry.
He also founded several schools and centers, encouraged devotion to the Holy Family, and wrote many books on issues surrounding the family and spiritual guidance. Also, in the cultural ambit he worked for the construction of the Servant of God Antonio Gaudí’s masterpiece, the Temple of the Holy Family in Barcelona, Spain.
He suffered from physical illnesses all his life, particularly due to two open wounds in his sides for the last 16 years of his life. He died on December 17, 1901 in Spain, and was canonized May 16, 2004 by Pope John Paul II.