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.

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




 Die Gründerin unserer Kongregation ist Pauline von Mallinckrodt.

Pauline von Mallinckrodt wurde 1817 in Minden geboren. Ihre Kindheit und Jugend verlebte sie in Aachen.

Pauline ist ein frohes, offenes Kind, zeigt jedoch auch ausgeprägte soziale Interessen. Der Tod der Mutter beendet für die gerade 17-jährige Pauline eine unbeschwerte Kindheit und Jugendzeit. Sie muss die Sorge für die drei jüngeren Geschwister und die Führung eines großen Haushalts übernehmen.

Gleichzeitig ist es ihr möglich, durch zahlreiche Reisen innerhalb Deutschlands und ins europäische Ausland ihren Horizont zu erweitern. Sie genießt die Schönheiten der Natur, erfreut sich an kulturellen Sehenswürdigkeiten und Ereignissen und interessiert sich vor allem brennend für alle Arten von sozialen Einrichtungen.

In Paderborn, wo die Familie nach der Pensionierung des Vaters wohnt, findet Pauline ein weites soziales Spannungsfeld vor. Mit ganzer Kraft engagiert sie sich für Arme und Kranke und gründet eine "Kleinkinder-Bewahrschule" als Tagesheimstätte, in die sie bald auch die ersten blinden Kinder aufnimmt. Diese erfahren ihre besondere Zuwendung und pädagogische Betreuung.

Das Tun Paulines kommt aus einer tiefen Religiosität. Im Laufe der Jahre ist in ihr der Wunsch gereift, sich Gott in einer Ordensgemeinschaft zur Verfügung zu stellen. Weil sie aber keine findet, die die Betreuung und Ausbildung der Blinden übernimmt, entschließt sie sich nach längerem Suchen zu einer eigenen Gründung.

Gut zu wissen / Good to know

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