Maria Josefa Segovia Morón was born in Jaén, Spain, on October 10, 1891. She died in Madrid on March 29, 1957. She was the first President of the Teresian Association.
She graduated from La Escuela Superior del Magisterio (Teachers College) in Madrid in 1913. Upon completion of her studies she returned to her hometown of Jaén. There St. Pedro Poveda wanted to open an academy. After receiving excellent references about Sogovia Josefa, he offered her the direction of the academy. On accepting the position she began identifying herself with the work of the Teresian Association, which was in its infancy, to fully committing her to the project and to the following of Jesus.
St. Pedro Poveda wrote on one occasion: "Grace made you a new creature because, even at the human level, God perfected you and elevated you to the extent that you do not look the same as before." "I declare and confess (...) that the spirit of the Teresian Association is embodied in you." "May the Lord give you perseverance and, as you have been growing in virtue each day since I know you, may you continue making progress in virtue until the Lord takes you to heaven."
She was 22 when she met Pedro Poveda but he did not consider her youth to be a handicap. He placed in the hands of this young woman the project he was starting.
As a result of the close collaboration of those years, she became well acquainted with the Founder of the emerging Lay Association that received civil and ecclesiastical approval in 1917. Poveda himself had called his Work a ‘good idea’ and Segovia abandoned her plans of matrimony and gave herself to the task of overseeing the numerous Academies that began all over Spain.
It was Josefa Segovia, as President of the Association, who presented the Work to Pope Pius XI, in order to obtain on January 11 of 1924, the perpetual canonical approval of the Association.
The Work continued to grow. Already during the life of the Founder it reached America. When Poveda died in 1936, Josefa Segovia continued the expansion of its mission and the formation of the members.
She knew she had been entrusted with a mission. Poveda had publicly said of her, in 1922: "You embody the spirit of the Teresian Association”.