Blessed Juan Nepomuceno Zegrí y Moreno

Son of Antonio Zegrí Martín and Josefa Moreno Escudero. A pious child, he received a good religious education, and felt an early call to the priesthood. Studied at Saint Dionysius Seminary, Granada, Spain. Ordained at Granada on 2 June 1855. Parish priest at Huétor Santillán and San Gabriel de Loja in Granada. Synodal judge. Canon of the cathedral of Malaga, Spain. Visitor of the religious orders in his diocese. Spiritual director of seminarians. Preacher and royal chaplain to Queen Isabel II.

In Malaga on 16 March 1878, Juan founded the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy to work for the spiritual and physical improvement of the poor. The Congregation soon spread throughout Spain. However, a scandal developed when some of the Sisters accused Juan of impropriety, and on 7 July 1888 he was ordered away from the Congregation. A lengthy investigation followed during which Juan kept his silence and obeyed all orders of his superiors. On 15 July 1894 he was cleared of all the false allegations, and though he voluntarily stayed away from the Congregation, he again was recognized as its founder.