- Name: Magdalena Montoya
- First Appearance: Josefina's Surprise
Personality and Facts
Tía Magdalena (as she is called) is a curandera, a healer, and the most respected woman in Josefina's village. She is Papa's older sister, which makes her Josefina's biological aunt. She is unmarried.
Tía Magdalena has a special bond with Josefina and helps train Josefina to become a curandera in her path.
In the Books
Josefina suggests that she and her sisters could talk to Tía Magdalena and have her talk to Papá about marrying Tía Dolores. Josefina doesn't get the chance to talk to Tía Magdalena right away, Magdalena approaches Josefina later on, saying she sensed Josefina wanted to talk. She tells Josefina that she invited Tía Dolores to stay with her for a few days before she leaves and mentions how they will all miss her. When Josefina tells Tía Magdalena about her wish, she gives Josefina a milagro and tells her she wants Josefina to keep it. "It will remind you to pray for your family's happiness, for your sorrow to be healed. And perhaps it will help you not to lose hope in your heart's desire."
Tía Magdalena goes with Josefina to collect more plants and roots and memorize which plant could help which illness. Josefina mentions that she'd write down everything she's learned if she had a blank book, but Tía Magdalena reminds her that a curandera doesn't need books. "God provides true healers with everything they need - a good memory, a patient and loving heart, and two strong hands." Tía Magdalena tells Josefina she has already learned a lot and will be able to contribute if something goes wrong while she's away at Santa Fe for a week. She also tells Josefina she believes Josefina can bring comfort to Doña Felícitas. The next day, before Magdalena leaves for Santa Fe, Josefina asks her if she knew since she was a kid she was meant to be a curandera. Tía Magdalena responds that she always knew she was different from the other girls and while others may have resented her, she proved herself over time. At the end of the story, Tía Magdalena returns from Santa Fe and praises Josefina for getting Doña Felícitas to sit outside. She asks Josefina if becoming a curandera is still her heart's desire and Josefina responds yes.