Wednesday’s Woman: Blessed Pauline Mallinckrodt

by Melanie on November 8, 2017

in Catholicism, Missionaries, Nonfiction, Politics, Saints, Saints of the Americas, Spirituality, Wednesday's Woman

The Basics: Born June 3, 1817, in Germany; died April 30, 1881, in Germany; beatified April 14, 1985, by John Paul II; feast day, April 30. Woman religious.

The Story: Pauline’s life was full of service–to her family, her community and those in need. The oldest child of a German politician and his devoutly Catholic wife, Pauline spent most of her formative years in a city near the French border, where her father was representing the government. Pauline entered society as befitted a girl in her position, but from an early age she felt a call to religious life; the only question was whether it would be in a contemplative or active community.

When Pauline was seventeen, her mother died of typhus, and so she became responsible for the house and her younger sister and two brothers. Six years later, her father retired, and Pauline began volunteering with a group that cared for the ailing and, ultimately, developed a home for the blind.

While Pauline found the work rewarding, she felt it belonged elsewhere. A friend had joined St. Madeleine Sophie Barat’s Sisters of the Poor Child Jesus, and so Pauline traveled to France to ask that the congregation take over the school. However, governmental regulations foreclosed that option and so, in 1849, Pauline founded the Sisters of Christian Charity.

While the community suffered for a time during the Kulturkampf, when religious orders were expelled from schools, it recovered and grew. In 1873, Pauline came for a visit to Pennsylvania to establish a mother house in the United States; after several years back at home, she returned to the Americas two years before her death for a visit.

Pauline’s Wisdom: “At all events, I shall patiently wait to see what God does.”

What We Can Learn from Pauline: Pauline had a special charism for patiently waiting, and accepting upheaval in the world and her life. Consider praying with her in hopes of doing the same.

To Learn More About Pauline: Read her biography, The Life of Mother Pauline von Mallinckrodt.

To Learn More About Other Women Saints and Blesseds: Come back next week, or consider buying my book, Sisterhood of Saints: Daily Guidance and Inspiration.

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