A Teaching of Faith: The Truths She Believed
Devotion of the Servant of God to the Teaching of the Catholic Church was ardent and unwavering. She came from the family surrounded by Protestants and who struggled to keep Catholic Faith. Therefore, she was aware of happiness to be Catholic.
“When some Protestants visited me during my illness (in the age of 17) I felt pity for them that they do not live in truth. I thanked our Lord for being born to Catholic parents. I said often: ‘O how I am happy to be a child of the true Church!’”
She attended with deep interest the religious teaching led by Reverend Reichard, in whom she trusted above all. She believed what was taught: God and God’s Providence; Jesus Christ, Who redeemed us by Hid death on the cross; the Blessed Mother; Saints; Sacraments, mainly Eucharist; a man destined for supernatural things; gravity of sin, and sublime of virtues.
The Servant of God had a great devotion to the Holy Trinity. During the day, she often repeated the prayer: “Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.”
Since her early childhood eagerly listened the talks about God’s matters, she turned directly to God for advise, help, and protection. She did it when she was looking for right direction, when experiencing sadness, or felt the need to express gratitude to God for graces she received.
“O good God, give me the grace to be pious and learn to pray earnestly as these persons do.” “I want to love You, I will love You, and I want to fulfill only Your will.” “My Divine Bridegroom, look how I long for You! Take my heart completely and show me the way to be united with you more intimately.”
The center place of the spiritual life of the Servant of God occupied Jesus Christ. At the age of five, she was deeply touched when she heard about Christ’s Passion. At the age ten, Reverend Reichard talked in school about Jesus’ Passion and death on a cross. This marked her for the entire life.
“Those words impressed me so strongly that my whole body was trembled. I stared at our Priest and I saw in him the picture of our suffering Savior.”
As she noted, she was not pleased with any other teaching more than the topic about suffering because she saw in it the love Christ loves us. Since ten years of age, during the Holy Mass she had a habit to observe the Passion of our Lord. Sometimes she was penetrated with it so deeply that her whole body shivered. She searched for solitude to meditate on Jesus’ Passion. Since young girl, she encouraged her fellow girls to be pious the same way. She taught this devotion, mainly, to her daughters and kept coming back to it. At the command of our Lord, she ordered her daughters to meditate on His Passion, daily. This is mentioned in the Original Rule. The Servant of God showed them the way, how to meditate, which was undoubtedly her own.
She handled cross and opened her heart to the work of grace; she gradually passed from one wound to another while she asked herself various questions to realize the cruelty of the Passion and the greatness of love of our Savior. Her soul was touched very deeply in that moment. She felt, in a certain way, the pain from Jesus’ suffering – it became her own pain. Her days were filled with gratitude, sorrow, and love.
The impression she gained under the cross did not get out of her heart. In the middle of her duties at parents house and in field, the crucified, suffering and dying Jesus for the sins of the world had been constantly before her eyes.
The Servant of God had a special devotion to Mary. From the age of three, she learned the Ave Maria and repeated it often as a refrain. From then on she turned to Mary in every situation. She said that she liked no other lesson as much as that of the Passion and that of the Blessed Virgin. At that time she was eight years old. “Hail Mary, full of grace, Mother of God, pray for me, poor child”. Her greatest joy was to hear about the Blessed Virgin. She was always afraid only of not understanding well what she was hearing about Mary. At the age of 14, she incessantly repeats the Salve Regina. She decided to imitate Mary in everything, especially in her silence, and her modesty. “I constantly placed myself under the protection of the good Mother of God”. She entrusted her virginity to her: “Through your holy virginity and your Immaculate Conception, oh pure Virgin, purify my heart and my flesh”. “Oh Mary, I want to imitate you, yes, I want to, I want to imitate your virtues, oh Mary, help me. Oh Mary, support me. I also want to remain a virgin, I want to imitate your virtues”. She spread the veneration of Mary through the recitation of the Rosary. She urged Father Reichard to have the Rosary recited at the parish church every Sunday and holiday to compensate for the insults committed to God on those days. In her ecstasies, she saw Mary as mediator; She understood that everything will be rescued by Mary and that her veneration will be extended. Mary gave her instructions. What she repeated was sublime and very consoling. The Congregation founded by the Servant of God was consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The joy of the Servant of God was great when the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which she had predicted eight years previously, was proclaimed. That day, the convent was magnificently decorated.
Among the other saints, the Servant of God has a special veneration for St. Joseph, whom she considers an efficient protector, especially, when confronted with financial problems even threatening the life of the Congregation. She has great devotion to Teresa of Ávila, whom she often invoked “to obtain, through her intercession, the grace of loving God as much as she had loved Him and to endure like her the physical and spiritual sufferings which God sent her”. She also invoked St. Alphonsus de Liguori, who was regarded as guide concerning spiritual life and as intercessor for the Congregation. “After the Blessed Virgin, it was St. Aloysius Gonzaga whom she most venerated and most often invoked. She had a preference for this saint because of his evangelic purity.”
As far as the sacraments were concerned, the Servant of God always showed great fervor for the Holy Sacrament of the altar. Even as a child, she had a very strong desire to go to church. She slowly passed the door of the sanctuary repeating: “Praised and blessed be the Holy Sacrament of the altar”. She had an ardent desire for the happiness of receiving Holy Communion. “Oh my Jesus”, she said, “when will the moment come for me to receive You? O! In that moment I will prostrate myself before You and adore You”. After her First Communion, she had such a strong desire for Communion that she begged her confessor to let her have it every week. In her mind she always stayed in front of the tabernacle. Father Reichard could say: “In the midst of all her occupations, she so vividly brought to her mind the altar, the Host, the chalice and the sacred ceremonies and united herself so intimately with the intention and the prayers of the priests and those present that wherever she was, she could receive Holy Communion as if she had been present in person at the Eucharistic Sacrifice”. During her first period of illness, “she had the ardent desire to receive Holy Communion more often, as the only means that gave her the strength for self-denial and for renouncing her own will in order to do nothing but God’s will”. The parish priest gave his consent to this. Once recovered, she felt it as a new grace to be again able to participate in Holy Mass and to receive Holy Communion. The Servant of God prayed a lot and made others pray in front of the Holy Sacrament. She herself spent many hours in adoration. She introduced Perpetual Adoration in communities of more than forty Sisters. In smaller communities or communities without a chapel, each Sister was to spend one hour a day in adoration. She said to her Daughters: “You need to have special devotion to the Most Holy Sacrament. Wherever you are in the house, you have to remember that you are close to Jesus. I ask you not to be noisy. It makes me suffer when I notice indifference and lack of respect to the Holy Sacrament.”