From heart to heart

Welfare Model
Vocational Youth Ministry


The Congregation of Sisters Hospitallers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was founded in Ciempozuelos-Madrid (Spain) on 31 May 1881, by St. Benedict Menni, Priest of the Order of St- John of God, along with María Josefa Recio and María Angustias Giménez, who were chosen by God to provide a solution to the lack of healthcare for, and the exclusion of, the mentally ill of that period. There work combined two fundamental aspects: charity and science.


“The Founders belong to our history (...) their history, their values and the criteria of their actions are a reference to us.”

St. Benedict Menni

  • He was born in Milan (Italy) on 11 March 1841. He died in Dinan (France) on 24 April 1914. He was entrusted with the restoration of the Order of St. John of God in Spain, Portugal and Mexico He founded the Congregation of Sisters Hospitallers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
  • Key elements of his life: He was known for his deep faith in the merciful and healing Christ and for his committed vision of the reality of his time.
  • A pioneer of psychiatric care in the late 19th and 20th centuries. A promoter of focusing on the person within the healthcare process, of treating patients humanely and of considering insanity as an illness.
  • The founders, along with another eight other sisters, represent the feminine face of Hospitality: “women who are committed, as a result of their faith, to the merciful liberation of other women.”

    María Josefa Recio (Granada, 1846-1883): An example of heroic charity by offering her life to the cause of helping the ill.

    María Angustias Giménez (Granada, 1849-1897): Intuitive, creative, of fine spiritual sensitivity. She was the First interpreter and chronicler of the Hospitaller itinerary.


    Hospitality is a deeply humane and Christian attitude, which is especially current in the globalised world. The word hospitality has significant connotations: humanity, welcome, universal nature, love, service, mutual assistance, caring for the poor. It has inspired the Hospitaller project from the very beginning and it continues to guide the good work of the Congregation’s institutions.

    Its origin lies in the healing work of Jesus, “Good Samaritan of humankind, he lived his life doing good and healing the sick”. Based on this interpretation, hospitality is the Congregation’s defining charism and the most genuine characteristic with which to describe its identity.

    Basis of the project

    The fundamental elements within our project are the people: the recipients of our services, those providing the services and any others who are involved in the mission.

    Hospitaller community

    There is a close relational bond among all those involved in the Hospitaller work: persons cared for and their families, sisters, collaborators, volunteers, etc. This bond is inclusive and plural, capable of establishing collaboration and communion among those sharing the spirit and values of the Institution.

    Shared mission

    We currently understand a shared mission as joint work, which requires sharing a single project and the sense of mission this encompasses, aside from sharing a single work space.

    Providing shared hospitality fundamentally requires the promotion of a path for the growth of the hospitality identity and favouring the shared responsibility for one same project.

    Hospitality mission

    Our mission embodies and expresses the charism of hospitality in the shelter, assistance, specialise and preferential care for people who suffer from mental illness, intellectual or physical disability and other illnesses; taking into consideration the needs and urgent matters of each place and time, granting priority to the financially disadvantaged and neediest.

    A living project

    The Hospitaller Mission, in continuity with its origins and in response to the current challenges it faces, projects a path of constant solidarity with knowledgeable people from all over the world.

    The person enduring suffering is the central focus of the Hospitaller Mission; all resources are focused and revolve around that person. The founding spirit has an inspiring element, which is “unlimited love”. TODAY, AS YESTERDAY AND ALWAYS.

    Identity and values

    “In our Institution we consider the key identifying values... in so far as they manifest OUR OWN MANNER OF WHAT WE DO.”

    The Hospitaller values are the key element of our Institution’s identity. These are integrated into the training and assistance processes, they are an unavoidable reference for guiding the decisions made by the responsible parties. All of this becomes a common space, a meeting point and commitment for all.


    All of our values can be summarised in one word: HOSPITALITY.

    Hospitality is a basic human value that is essential to society, welfare and healthcare. It involves offering space and time, attention and care, charity and resources to each of the beneficiaries of our mission.

    This core value is embodied in eight values:


    Hospitality model

    The care for the person in their integrity, their reinsertion into society and the defence of their own dignity constitute unavoidable premises and are the basis of the hospitality model.

    Lines of care

    Psychiatric and Mental Health Care

  • We provide ongoing care through each of the phases of illness, from prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and social reinsertion. Our aim is to help people with mental health problems to resume their life projects with dignity and maintain an adequate quality of life.
  • Psychogeriatric Care

  • A social-healthcare service that provides integral care for elderly people suffering from multiple pathologies, functional or cognitive impairment and/or behavioural alterations. It offers two types of care: residential and day care.
  • Learning Disabilities

  • With a view to providing a comprehensive, humane, educational, rehabilitating and personalised care, the Congregation promote centres and services which are adapted to the needs and expectations of the users and their families.
  • Brain damage

  • Multidisciplinary units for the neuro-rehabilitation of patients with brain damage caused by head injuries, strokes and other causes, through neuro-psychological and speech therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and other related medical treatments. Our aim is to teach our patients a “new way of living” in physical, mental, social and family terms.
  • Palliative care

  • These units are devoted to patients in advanced-terminal phases of illness, who require specialised care that includes both the control of physical symptoms and the physhological, social and spiritual support that is necessary in order to minimise the suffering of both the patients and their families.
  • General medicine

  • Our general hospitals are centres for the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, by means of a wide range of medical-surgical specialities and other specialist units.
  • Other services

    Our hospitality model also demands we promote teaching, research and innovation, promote pastoral care, volunteering and ethics. As well as promoting cooperation for development, favouring solidarity inside and outside of the Institution.

    The hospitality figures

    We are a non-profit Catholic Institution, working for the past 135 years in favour of people with mental illnesses, learning disabilities and other needs.

    The principles of our Hospitality models respond to those of the mission, history and values themselves, always based on the Hospitality initiated by our founded St. Benedict Menni.

    The Sisters Hospitallers currently manage more than 370 centres spread over Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

    We have a presence in 25 countries with 17,300 healthcare and social posts and more than 2 million beneficiaries in the past year. This work is carried out thanks to the human and professional dedication of more than 1,000 sisters, 11,100 workers and numerous volunteers.