St. Magdalene of Canossa, the revered saint of Verona in Italy, casts the brightness of her spiritual aura on all the Canossian endeavours. St. Magdalene was a saint who had dedicated herself to a spiritual life and service to humanity. She became a true model to various young women and men who followed her to spread the message of God in distant parts of the world across several continents, under the banner of Canossian Daughters of Charity, Servants of the Poor (FDCC) and Canossian Sons of Charity (FDCC).
St. Joseph's College for Women is the only college and institution of higher learning under the banner of the congregation. Ralph Waldo Emerson says that "an institution is the lengthened shadow of one man". In this way, it is true that St. Joseph's College stands on the foundation built upon the precepts of a divine personage and encompasses all that is good and worthy of emulation in her teachings. St. Magdalene believed that the true thrust of Canossians educational mission lay in the "formation of hearts" and this is seen in the importance given by the college inculcating right morals and humane values in the young individual. Canossian sisters, who through their long association of 125 years in Alleppey, have striven hard to fulfil their ideal in education, by following a policy of inclusion and upliftment. The bond between the college and the community which had begun with the founding sisters became firmer with the development of the college through the last 63 years. It was the visionary head, the Venerable M. Fernanda Riva, the first Principal of the college, who laid the blue-print of an illustrious institution. The Principals, who succeeded her, held the banner of St. Joseph’s aloft. Through the tenures of Rev. M. Olive Rodrigues, Rev. M. Josephine D'Mello, Rev. Sr. Olive d' Silva, Rev. Dr. Sr. Annette Thottakkara, Rev. Dr. Sr. Rose Chacko, Rev. Dr. Sr. Annie Mathew, Rev. Sr. Leela Mappilacherry, and Rev. Dr. Sr. Janet Augustine, the college has marched through the Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees, two NAAC accreditations, now standing tall as a college accredited with "A Grade" and conferred the status of "College with Potential for Excellence." The present Principal Dr. Sheena George assumed the position of the tenth Principal in April 2017 to lead the college to greater heights in the ensuing years.