The Church venerates the Blessed and Saints as a model of Christian life. By her beatification, she represents a certain person as an example of Christian life for the Church of that country, Diocese and in our case, also our communities in the world. By canonization this veneration is spread in the whole universal Church. By beatification, the person is venerated also liturgically – first in the local Church and by canonization in the universal Church. The act of beatification is simple: the Diocesan Bishop asks the Prefect Cardinal, the legate of the Holy Father, for beatification completed during the Eucharistic celebration. The Prefect Cardinal answers by an Apostolic letter – a Decree Concerning the Liturgical Cult of the Beatified Person.
The time before the Beatification of our Foundress is a preparation time on the spiritual and organizational levels. Everywhere in the world where our Sisters live, the preparation for the Beatification is supported, mainly, by prayer. There are also catechesis, talks, and meetings focused on the life and virtues of our Foundress. Preparations are in full swing, especially, at the Motherhouse in Oberbronn. Of course, the Beatification of Alsatian Foundress of the Congregation in Niederbronn, Alphonse Marie Eppinger (1814-1867) and its preparation is a main event of the 2018 year for the Diocese of Strasburg.
The Motto for the Beatification: ”Have courage, God is with you“, is represented our Foundress in the way as she presents herself today – by this beatification: As a simple woman who opened her ears, heart, and hands to the spiritual and material needs of the people of her time. She was a Sister, who saw her mission in direct contact with people. From the beginning, her charism and apostolate show her understanding of the way to follow Jesus. This future Blessed one was a deep believer, who with courage and confidence for 18 years followed the path intended by God, as a Foundress of our Congregation. She always encouraged her Sisters to be zealous, happy, and persistent in the way of meeting people with their needs at all times. Therefore, explore, why God gives her to us again today as a gift by the Church’s declaration of Beatification!
An immediate program for the preparation for the Beatification will start on August 31, 2018 with the Novena prayer coupled with a procession from the native home of our Foundress to the font in the Protestant Church in Niederbronn and will continue every day until the Beatification at another places in the Diocese.
A vigil prayer will be on September 8th, in the Marienthal Basilica. The peak of the preparation will take place on September 9th, in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Strasburg at 2:30 PM.
This Beatification is a historical event for all of us. Right now, we have a great opportunity to show the greatness of our Mother Alphonse Marie, the shining example of her fruitful life to all, and her love for the most vulnerable in the Church and the world. Let us not waste the opportunity to prepare well for the Beatification. God offers us this opportunity only once.
Sister M. Katarína Krištofová, Postulator