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The patron saints of the Congregation

Mother Alphonse Marie chose Saints as patrons of the Congregation, who were models for her and who still have an important message for our days.

Saint Joseph is our holy Protector, because….

.....since the Congregation has been founded, the trust in his advocacy and help played a prominent role. When an extension of the “Klösterle” became necessary, Mother Alphonse Marie put the congregation under his protection. In a revelation she heard that Saint Joseph would preserve the good spirit and that the new religious order would receive much grace due to his intercession. The chronicle refers to Saint Joseph as the “builder” of the new convent, as miraculous experiences which added to the work were attributed to his help.

Simplicity is an attitude, which characterizes Saint Joseph‘s life and also the life of Mother Alphonse Marie and she reminds her sisters – us - of it again and again.

Biography: In the gospel according to Matthew and Luke Saint Joseph is described as member of the House of David, who lived in Nazareth as a carpenter. He is depicted as a man of faith and trust, as a confident of Divine mysteries; as someone who keeps quiet but acts according to God’s will. As a caring husband of Holy Mary he was like a father to Jesus.

Pope Pius IX declared him Holy Protector of the Church in 1870. His Commemoration day is the 19th of March.

St. Alphonsus Marie of Liguori (founder of the Redemptorist order) is our holy protector, because……

....Mother Alphonse Marie held him in high esteem. This is probably the reason why she got his name as her religious name. Her special relationship to this Saint becomes evident as she can hear him speak during her ecstasies. He wanted the congregation come to the support of the poor and the deserted. Due to his saintliness, his zeal to come through for the people and his unlimited confidence in Divine love and mercy he was a shining example for Mother Alphonse Marie and she wanted to become like him.

Biography: Alphonse was born into an aristocratic family in 1696 in the vicinity of Naples. He was only 16 years old when he acquired the juristic doctorate. Soon he became famous as an excellent lawyer. But one day he lost court proceedings. This incident, as well as the fundamental question whether in his profession he would really be able to serve justice, unsettled him so much, that he retreated and totally gave himself to prayer. At the age of thirty he was ordained as a priest. His life as a missionary, as a spiritual guide and preacher, as well as his writings were notably pervaded by the belief in the redeeming love of Jesus Christ. He strived to spread the Christian message on the countryside through popular missions. For this purpose he founded the religious order of Redemptorists, the Congregation of the Holy Redeemer. Later Alphonse was appointed Bishop. He prepared religious writings, of which his “Moral theology” is the best known. He died in 1787, when he was almost 91 years old. In 1839 he was canonized and in 1871 he was made Doctor of the church. His commemoration day is the first of August.

Saint Therese of Avila is our holy protector, because....

…she strived for a“ true and veritable spirit” in her religious order, the Carmel. This was also an important concern of our foundress. Apart from that Therese was an example for Mother Alphonse Marie because of her great love towards God and her spirituality which is very much based on the relationship to Jesus Christ... However, Mother Alphonse Marie from the very beginning was seeking for an apostolic religious life as contrasted to an enclosed community.

Biography: Therese of Avila was born into a Spain aristocratic family in Avila 1515. When she was 19 she entered the Carmelite order in her hometown, at first living a superficial and shallow life. In 1555 she experienced a profound conversion, when she had a vision of Jesus on the pillar of scourging. From that day onwards she had many mystical experiences. She promised to do whatever is more consummate and to devotedly observe the Rule of Life. Thus she became the great reformer of her order, supported by St. John of the Cross. Therese wrote about her life herself. Her writing “The way of perfection” is assumed to be her most important book. Therese was an extraordinary woman having a passionate heart, clear intuition and an astounding talent for organisation. She died in 1582, was canonized in 1622 and named Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI in 1970. Her commemoration day is the 15th of October