+ Marie Thérèse, the daughter of Baron Joseph von Wullenweber, was born in the castle of Myllendonk at Mönchengladbach, Germany, in 1833. Educated by the Benedictine nuns in Liege, Belgium, she was inspired to pursue a religious vocation after taking part in a series of Jesuit missions in 1853 and 1857.
+ She spent six years with the Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Bloemendaal, Netherlands. Seeking to further clarify her vocation, however, she also spent time with the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration and the Visitation Nuns.
+ Feeling called to a different form of service than that which was available in these established communities, she made a private vow committing her life to the missions in 1875 and began to care for orphans and the elderly in a former convent in Neuwerk, Germany.
+ Finally, in 1882, she accepted an invitation to join Blessed Francis Jordan and his newly established Apostolic Teaching Society. In time, the community of women became the Sisters of the Divine Savior, part of the “Salvatorian Family.” Her religious name, “Mary of the Apostles,” embodies her devotion to the spread of the Gospel.
Blessed Mary of the Apostles died on December 25, 1907, and was beatified in 1968.
For prayer and reflection
“My principal aim has always been to devote my life to mission, and to give of my best in this service.”—Blessed Mary of the Apostles
On this day the Church also remembers Saint Teresa of Kolkata. The beloved champion of the poor and founder of the Missionaries of Charity, “Mother Teresa” died in 1997 and was canonized in 2016.
O God, by whose gift blessed Mary of the Apostles persevered in imitating Christ, poor and lowly, grant us through her intercession that, faithfully walking in our own vocation, we may reach the perfection you have set before us in your Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For a Religious)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.