Manyanet y Vives, José (Joseph), Bl.
MANYANET Y VIVES, JOSÉ (JOSEPH), BL.
Priest, founder of the Congregation of the Sons of the Holy Family and the Institute of the Missionary Daughters of the Holy Family of Nazareth; b. Jan. 7, 1833, Tremp, Pallars Jussá, Catalonia, Spain; d. Dec. 17, 1901, San Andres de Palomar, Barcelona, Spain.
José Manyanet, the youngest of nine children born to farmers Antonio Manyanet and Bonaventura Vives, was baptized on the day of his birth. Following the death of his father in 1834, José informally became the ward of Father Valentín Lledós, who influenced his future vocation, as did his mother Bonaventura's piety. At age 12, he left home to begin his education in the Piarist school at Barbastro from 1845 to 1850. He continued his study of philosophy at the seminary of Lleida (1850–53) and theology at Seu d'Urgell (1853–59), where he was mentored by Bishop José Caixal and ordained as priest April 9, 1859.
From his ordination until 1865, Manyanet successfully served Bishop Caixal in several offices while engaging in pastoral ministry as confessor, spiritual director, preacher, catechist, and promoter of several associations. Because he had a heroic concern for the family, which he recognized was threatened by divorce and personal independence, he founded two institutions: Hijos de la Sagrada Familia (1864 in Tremp) and Hijas de la Sagrada Familia (1874 in Talarn). Manyanet and his first companions made their religious profession in Barcelona Feb. 2, 1870, and received pontifical approval June 22, 1901. The order operates schools for the Christian education of children and promotes devotion to the Holy Family in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Italy, Mexico, Spain, the United States (from 1920), and Venezuela. They also publish the periodical Revista La Sagrada Familia.
The founding of the female branch was more difficult. Bishop Caixal placed a new community of women founded by Ana María Janer in 1859 under the direction of Manyanet. The order was consumed by crisis until it was again recognized by Bishop José Morgades of Vich in 1892, under the direction of the co-foundress, Mother Encarnación Colomina. She gave the order its new name Misioneras Hijas de la Sagrada Familia de Nazaret, which was approved by the Vatican May 10, 1958.
In addition to writing the constitutions of both the orders he founded, Manyanet contributed several books: Meditaciones: El espíritu de la Sagrada Familia (Meditations: The Spirit of the Holy Family); La Escuela de Nazaret (The School of Nazareth); and Preciosa joya de familia (The Precious Jewel of Family). He also advocated for the liturgical celebration of the Feast of the Holy Family, which was instituted by Pope Leo XII in 1892. For many years before his death Father Manyanet secretly bore the stigmatization of Jesus.
His mortal remains are enshrined in a bronze urn in the Beato José Manyanet Chapel in the School of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph of Saint Andrew of Palomar (Barcelona). The ordinary informative process for his beatification began in 1931, and his cause was formally introduced by Pope Pius XII in 1951. Pope John Paul II declared Manyanet venerable July 12, 1982, and beatified him Nov. 25, 1984.
Bibliography: d. morera, Among the Stars: The Life of Father Joseph Manyanet (New York 1957). Acta Apostolicae Sedis 77 (1985) 935–39. L'Osservatore Romano, Eng. ed. 50 (1984): 2,12.
[k. i. rabenstein]