Constant Effort to Serve in the Name of Christ

The Servant of God loved poverty in an extraordinary way. She loved her humble condition and the privations due it, or rather she did not desire anything except for what she was given, and of what she was given she gave away everything she could. Before founding her Institute, she vowed to practice poverty. She wanted to possess only – with her confessor’s consent – what was strictly necessary for subsistence, all the rest had to be used for the glory of God and for the relief of the poor according to her confessor’s opinion.Mother Alphonse Maria founded her Institute in absolute poverty, without any other resource than her trust in God. Very often they lacked the necessary, but help always arrived in time. Our Lord had said to Mother Alphonse Marie: “I will send a lot of help for this work, but I want everything to be left to me”. The Servant of God also wanted the spirit of poverty to animate not only each member but the Institute in general and as a whole. Each house may not save anything except for what is strictly necessary for a limited time. The surplus must be given to the poor or given in order to found other houses.”

She asked her Daughters to observe strictest poverty: in their dwellings, there should be only what was strictly necessary; their food should be that of poor people; their clothing, objects they use. She revealed that Our Lord had told her that the Congregation would live as long as poverty and charity would be practiced there.

The Servant of God frequently asked her Daughters to practice and love poverty. She said to them: “Where the spirit of poverty does not reign, there is no progress in virtue. You will relapse instead of advancing: your flesh will triumph over your spirit. Reject everything that is against the spirit of poverty and you will soon notice a total change in yourselves”.

She gave the example of the strictest poverty. A parish priest who visited her says: “Mother Alphonse Marie lived in the small room; that cell was very poor”. Father Reichard wrote to Bishop Raess: “As strictest poverty must be observed by all members of the Congregation, the Superior finds it difficult to wear the Rosary Your Excellency has blessed. Only if Your Excellency orders her to do so, she will wear it”. To teach a lesson to the whole Community, one day she had burned a book which a Sister possessed without permission, in the presence of everybody. The elderly Sisters reported this fact: The Servant of God was lying in her deathbed, she was in coma. Suddenly she sat up and accused a Sister of having waxed the stairs even though she had forbidden this. She ordered to remove the wax, as oral tradition tells.