About Us

"You, as women, have your own gift to offer to the Church --   
a gift that is very precious and very needed." 
- Joseph Cardinal Bernadin
Former Archbishop of Chicago and
Episcopal Adviser to the Daughters of Isabella

The first Circle of the Order of the Daughters of Isabella was founded in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1897, as an auxiliary to the Rev. John Russell Council of the Knights of Columbus. The Daughters of Isabella is a charitable and sororal organization of Catholic women who come together in spiritual sisterhood to grow in faith and prayer, to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church, and to contribute to the common good of humanity.

For example, in 2004-2006 alone, the Order donated over $1.4 million dollars to charitable causes and over 2.5 million hours of voluntary service. Noteworthy beneficiaries included the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Institut Catholique de Montréal, the Catholic University of America, the National Catholic School for Social Service in Washington, D.C., the Life Cycle Institute for family life research, Queen Isabella Foundation Scholarships for graduate students, World Youth Day, and the Marian Shrine at Cap-du-la-Madeleine in Quebec. 

Totaling over 70,000 members worldwide, the Daughters of Isabella are faith-filled women of prayer united by a dedication to Unity, Friendship, and Charity. Accordingly, we strive to live out these virtues locally within the Catholic community at Harvard, promoting unity and collaboration between the various organizations at St. Paul Parish in Cambridge, such as the Catholic Student Association, the Harvard Catholic Center, Evangelical Catholic, and our male counterpart, the Harvard Knights of Columbus. We also offer our members unique community and friendships founded on Christ, which help us pursue true Catholic womanhood. Finally, we are dedicated to life-promoting service projects, ministering to the elderly, and protecting the defenseless unborn.

Importantly, we are inspired by the holy example of our Patroness, Queen Isabella of Spain, one of the most influential and powerful women in history; information about her life and Cause of Canonization, the process towards sainthood, is provided below, including a prayer approved for her intercession. Recent scholarship has helped to illumine many aspects of her life and legacy, and these resources are linked here.

Prayer for Queen Isabella's Canonization
Adapted from Our Patroness' Official Cause of Canonization

Almighty Father, in Your infinite goodness You made your Servant, Queen Isabella of Spain, a prayerful model for young ladies, wives, mothers, women leaders and government rulers. As the first sovereign of the American continent, You granted to her heart a sense of piety, justice, compassion and the vision of a new land full of promise. Grant us the grace to see Your infinite majesty glorified in her prompt canonization, and through her intercession... [ask for your particular needs] that we ask of You in this present need through Christ Our Lord. Amen. +

Servant of God, Queen Isabella, pray for us.
Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be...

Pray to the Servant of God Isabella of Spain and ask her intercession for your particular needs. When you obtain your favor, please inform the promoters of her Cause at the address below:

Comité Reina Isabel, P.O. Box 268237, Chicago, IL 60626-8237

Queen Isabella was born in Alcazar, kingdom of Avila, Spain, on April 22, 1451. She married Ferdinand, heir of Aragon, at 18 years of age, on October 19, 1469. She was crowned Queen of Castille on December 13, 1474, and lived much of her life under duress of severe struggles for power within the State. Nevertheless, she persevered in prayer and conquered kings and unified her beloved country under the holy sign of Christianity.

She helped Christopher Columbus undertake the greatest voyage of history and therefore is perhaps better known for her benevolent sponsorship of the discoveries of the new world, where Christianity was yet unknown. A brave and virtuous woman, Isabella also had to contend with her own personal tragedy, losing prematurely many of the persons closest to her, including a son and a daughter.

Her preservation of Christianity is emulated through the Daughters of Isabella, who seek to promote the welfare of the community and to follow, in mutually supportive ways, the teachings and rules of Holy Mother Church.

"In our own days too the Church is constantly enriched by the witness of the many women who fulfill their vocations to holiness. Holy women are an incarnation of the feminine ideal; they are also a model for all Christians, a model of the "sequela Christi," an example of how the Bride must respond with love to the love of the Bridegroom."