Lydia Jiménez González
Since 1971, Lydia Jiménez González closely collaborated with Fr. Tomás Morales on the formation and development of the Institute. For this reason, she is considered its co-founder. Since then, she has been the General Director of the Institute.
Lydia was born in San Martín de Pimpollar (Ávila, Spain) in 1945. She met Fr. Tomás Morales in 1965, only a few months after she arrived in Madrid to study Education and Philosophy in the Complutense University of Madrid. Fr. Morales discovered in her the woman who would make come true the project of the new evangelical style of the Secular Institute of the Crusaders of Mary.
The expansion of the Institute has been made possible thanks to her unconditional self-giving, ardent zeal for the salvation of souls, and her profound self-denial. She has traveled many kilometers to be able to accompany the Crusaders and Militants in the different foundations, visiting their homes, supporting potential vocations, strengthening the more experienced ones, and encouraging new apostolic initiatives for evangelization. She opened the first house of the Crusaders in America in 1986 (Peru). Since then, foundations have been opening one after the other, especially in the American continent and Europe, but also in other countries (for example in Cameroon or Cuba).
She has directed numerous Spiritual Exercises retreats for young women, in solitude and silence, following the Ignatian method, dedicating herself tirelessly to the formation of each participant.
She has promoted the creation of the “Berit Institute for families” in Spain and Latin America, of which she has been the director since 1998. Since May of 1999, she has been a consultant for the "Pontifical Council for the Family" and since 2001, a consultant for the "Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life.” She has also twice been the president of CEDIS (Spanish Confederation of Secular Institutes).
In October 2012, she participated as an auditor in the Synod of Bishops convened by Pope Benedict XVI on the new evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith.