Formerly the Revered Mother Dorothea of Orlais, Divine Justinia V rose to power after the death of Divine Beatrix III in the year 9:34 of the Dragon Age. Little is known of Dorothea's background before she joined the Chantry as an initiate. Within the Grand Cathedral, rivals suggest that her reticence in discussing her past means she's hiding something; few of her flock, however, can imagine her as anyone other than a gentle mother of obvious faith.
When Beatrix III was felled by a massive stroke, she survived just long enough to put forth Dorothea's name as a candidate for her replacement. Grand Clerics from throughout Thedas flocked to Orlais for the Grand Consensus, a private meeting between the heads of all Chantries to select the next Divine.
Though ritual demanded the decision be unanimous, servants attending the Consensus whispered of heated debate over Dorothea's suitability. Her "worldly" background and demonstrated forgiveness for sinners were held against her; ultimately, however, the will of Beatrix III prevailed, and Dorothea began her reign as Justinia V.