American Girl Wiki

Magdalena Montoya is the godmother and aunt of Josefina Montoya.

Personality and Facts[]

Magdalena Montoya--Tía Magdalena--is Andres's older sister and Josefina's godmother. She has soft brown eyes.

Tía Magdalena is a curandera (a traditional Mexican cultural folk healer), and her job makes her one of most respected women in the village. People come to her for care when injured or ill and she always knows what to do and knows more about healing than anyone. She is unmarried and does not appear to have ever been so. She is patient and kind and full of advice and understanding. Like many women of the time, she is illiterate and cannot read and write, but keeps her knowledge in her head and is capable of passing it along.

Tía Magdalena has a special bond with Josefina both as her paternal aunt and godmother; Josefina and her sisters often go to her for advice and support. When she learns that Josefina wants to learn how to be a curandera and follow in her path, she helps train Josefina in the healing arts.

In the Books[]

Josefina's Surprise[]

She compliments Josefina on the way she has cared for her mama's flowers and says Máma would be pleased while Josefina and the other women and girls are making ramilletes at Señora Sánchez's home.

Happy Birthday, Josefina![]

Tía Magdalena comes to the rancho and announces her arrival by asking after who the noisy animal is--Sombrita. When the other sisters explain who Sombrita is and how Josefina has cared for her, Tía Magdalena scoops up Sombrita and then asks Josefina why she decided to take care of Sombrita. She asks if it's been hard work and that she's done a good job and Sombrita is fine and healthy. She then gives Tía =Dolores mustard leaves to brew tea from and give to her husband, Miguel, for a stomach ache should it come back. She says not to use it all at once as she hasn't many leaves left; tansy mustard is usually blooming everywhere by spring but she hasn't been able to find it. Josefina says she saw some by the stream and Tía Magdalena says her young eyes are better than her old and that Josefina may perhaps gather it for her--and when Josefina does stop by, to stay a little while and help her in cleaning the storeroom.

Josefina Saves the Day[]

Changes for Josefina[]

Secrets in the Hills[]

Tía Magdalena goes with Josefina to collect more plants and roots and help memorize which plants help various illnesses. 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 as 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, 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.

Song of the Mockingbird: My Journey with Josefina[]