“Reverend Mother had decided that our Motherhouse in Paderborn would never presume to dismiss a poor person from our door without giving alms. In case we could not give what was requested, something else should be substituted, even if it were only a piece of bread. On the other hand, the poor knew from experience that their concerns always found a sympathetic ear with Reverend Mother. Consequently, very many destitute persons kept continually appearing at the door with requests of various kinds. For a number of years, the sick and the aged received their noonday meal at the convent. To these were added daily some 30-40 poor people who were also fed at the door.
To our Mother it was always a matter of great importance that the dear poor always received very good food, were properly served, and during the winter were also provided with a warm place to stay while enjoying their meal. Over and over again she used to say to us in her goodness that in the poor we should envisage the dear Savior himself. She always greeted the poor with a most reverential bow.
One beggar who lodged at night in his shepherd’s hut was always elated when Reverend Mother came his way and greeted him. He expressed his opinion that a lady like that was not to be found anywhere in the world anymore, one who would greet a beggar in such a friendly way.”
Mother Pauline has always an eye for the “little” ones. One of her companions on the difficult journey to Chile, recorded in her diary: “Second- and third-class passengers were not allowed to come to the first-class deck. Reverend Mother, who stayed on deck all day, had struck up a friendship with a little barefoot ragamuffin, the child of Portuguese emigrants, who had come up from steerage and was walking on the first-class deck while the first-class passengers were at dinner. It was touching to see how Reverend Mother always managed to save something for her little protégé from the meager tray that was brought up to her.” (Taken from the Cronicle)
One of Frau von Mallinckrodt’s greatest concerns was to bring up her children in the Catholic faith. Out of deference to the father’s Protestant affiliation, she accomplished this with tactful reserve. Pauline was very responsive to matters of faith and manifested a deep love for prayer at an early age.
One Good Friday Pauline wanted to make the Way of the Cross, with which the pupils were familiar, in the garden of St. Leonard School. But her mother wanted her to stay at home on this special holy day of her Protestant father. Pauline complied, but devised a new plan, for she knew the pictures of the stations at St. Leonard’s by heart. After looking for Pauline for some time, her mother found her climbing the attic stairs on her knees. Her mother looked at her questioningly. “I’m praying the stations,” her ten year old daughter whispered. The mother was taken aback. She had a presentiment that God would play an important role in Pauline’s life.
(Taken from Sr. Agnes Schmittdiel, Pauline von Mallinckrodt)
Aus Briefen an ihre Großmutter
Am Samstag haben die guten Eltern einen Thée dásant gegeben, zu welchem über 150 Personen geladen waren. Wir sind bis gegen 2 Uhr zusammen geblieben, und Mathilde sowohl als ich haben keinen Tanz überschlagen, aber ich kann Dir versichern, dass meine Beine es am Sonntag auch verspürt haben. Den Cottillion tanzte ich mit Herrn Haid, den Hugo wohl von Antwerpen kennt, und dieser dachte, bald wieder dorthin zu gehen. (1831)
Verflossenen Winter bin ich, außer ins Theater, fast gar nicht heraus gewesen, aber in den Fastnachtstagen habe ich tüchtig geschwärmt und das Verlorene nachgeholt. Von allen Seiten sah ich Fastnachtsnarren, und ich konnte nicht allein ernsthaft bleiben. – Montag und Dienstag habe ich mich verkleidet, und zwei Abende hintereinander habe ich getanzt, doch nur bis gegen elf Uhr. In Borchen habet ihr gewiss den Karneval ganz ruhig zugebracht. (1832)