Paderborn, August 10, 1874
Dear Sister Juliana and all the dear Sisters,
Our kind Most Reverend Bishop put me under obligation to have my picture taken and to see that you, dear Sisters are in possession of one on the feast of St. Frances de Chantal, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the foundation of our beloved Congregation. I cannot deny that I think Sister Anna and Sister Juliana are the instigators of this formal command.
I have acquiesced to the wish of the Most Reverend Bishop, and since it is not possible for me to be personally in your midst on this day, although it would certainly be an indescribable pleasure, to thank the dear Lord with you for all the kindness and blessings He has bestowed upon us during this long time, I can at least be with you with my picture.
May each of us make the firm resolution today, to strive for true sanctity, then we shall have all eternity to be united, and never be separated again.
With sincere love,
Your, Sister Pauline
We are grateful for the one photo that we have from Mother Pauline. This photo inspired many artiststo portray Mother Pauline. Here you can see some pictures.
We can summarizethe spiritual message of Blessed Pauline von Mallinckrodt in a very current and concrete program for life: an unconditional following of Christ in unshakable faith; love for God and loving commitment to the most unfortunate people for the sake of Christ.
Mother Pauline is an example for our life. For the fearful unrest of modern people, she shows a path to inner peace: to confidently and courageously seek God in the suffering brother and sister. So is her message current, as the search for God is always current.
Pope John Paul II at the Beatification of Mother Pauline
“Love never counts – Love only counts!”A play of words, this? A paradoxical saying, at once true and false? Suppose we ask Margretchen – half blind, mentally retarded Margaretha Feichtler – how we are to understand this saying, which both directed and characterized the life of Pauline von Mallinckrodt.
It was the year 1842. In Paderborn,PaulinevonMallinckrodt was just beginning to take care of, instruct, and formally train hitherto poor and neglected blind children. Among the first five was Margretchen, the daughter of a woman who sold vegetables at the market. In a letter of December 19, 1842, to her cousin, Paulinedescribed her:
... the fifth child, one whom he (the teacher) has until now found too stupid, will be the next one to be put into his class. This poor creature is fromPaderborn,[Margaretha Feichtler, born in 1816'] and is considered feebleminded - extremely retarded. For days she would be put to bed and locked into a room while her mother went out to earn a livelihood. No one bothered about her, and if she went outside in good weather, the street urchins would laugh at her because of her dreadful awkwardness. And so her condition became worse and worse. She hasn't gone to confession yet, nor has she received Holy Communion. Dr. Schmidtdidn't want to have anything to do with her and thought we should have accepted a normal girl in her place. Finally he gave in to my repeated petitions and now, after only six weeks, we can furnish evidence that the girl is not so retarded after all. She can already repeat little stories in high German and also draw correct conclusions. I'm so happy that we rescued the poor creature from a state of mere vegetation and are able to transform her into a human being.
Berlin, Gefängnis, 1.2.1945 Lehrterstr. 3
Einer Anregung auf meinem Andachtsbildchen Ihrer Stifterin, der ehrwürdigen Mutter Pauline, entsprechend, teile ich Ihnen folgendes mit: Ich befinde mich seit Mitte August 1944 in einem Berliner Gefängnis in Haft der Geheimen Staatspolizei. Monatelang war ich von der Verbindung mit der Außenwelt völlig abgeschnitten, insbesondere bestand auch keinerlei Möglichkeit, die hl. Kommunion zu empfangen.
|1817||June 3: Born in Minden|
|1824||Relocation of family to Aix-la-Chapelle|
|1834||Pauline‘s Mother Bernardine von Mallinckrodt dies. Pauline is responsible for the housekeeping and the employees|
|1837||Pauline gets involved to help the poor and sick|
|1839||The family moves to Böddeken/Wewelsburg (during summer) and Paderborn (during winter);|
|1840||Founding of first kindergarten in Paderborn, „Day Nursery for Poor Children“|
|1842||Beginning of education of the blind in Paderborn|
|1844||December 11: King Friedrich Wilhelm IV grants to Pauline‘s private-Institute for the blind the Corporation Rights|
|1847||Pauline hands the Institute for the blind over to the Catholic department of the government for the blind. Pauline remains the administrator.|
|1849||February 24: King Friedrich Wilhelm IV grants the Corporation Rights to the future Congregation|
|August 21: Founding of the „Congregation of the Sisters of Christian Charity“|
|1850||November 4: First Profession of the first four Sisters|
|1863||February 21: Pontifical approbation of the Congregation|
|Beginning of Kulturkampf in Prussia|
|1872||The state no longer permits religious teachers|
|1873||Sending of the first Sisters to New Orleans, LA (USA), Mother Pauline travels to the USA to look for new ministries for her Sisters|
|1974||The first 12 Sisters are sent to Chile.|
|1875||Decree of Dissolution of all existing convents in Germany|
|1877||Mother Pauline moves to Mont St. Guibert, Belgium|
|1879/80||Visit to the Sisters in North and South America and in Europe|
|1881||April 30: Mother Pauline dies in the Motherhouse in Paderborn|
|1985||April 14.: Beatification of Pauline von Mallinckrodt in Rome|