Mary of the Divine Heart

Last updated
Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart (Droste zu Vischering)
Maria Droste zu Vischering Munster.jpg
Portrait of Blessed Sister Mary of the Divine Heart, countess of Droste zu Vischering and Mother Superior of the Good Shepherd Convent in Porto, Portugal.
Blessed / Religious of the Good Shepherd / Messenger of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Born(1863-09-08)September 8, 1863
Münster, Germany
ResidenceErbdrostenhof Palace (birth); Castle of Darfeld (childhood); Convent of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Porto (until her death)
DiedJune 8, 1899(1899-06-08) (aged 35)
Porto, Portugal
Venerated in Catholic Church
Beatified November 1, 1975, St. Peter's Square, Vatican by Pope Paul VI
Major shrine Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Ermesinde)
Feast June 8
Patronage Priests and devotees of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Mary of the Divine Heart (Münster, September 8, 1863 – Porto, June 8, 1899), born Maria Droste zu Vischering, was a person of old German nobility (Uradel) and Roman Catholic nun of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, best known for having influenced Pope Leo XIII to make the consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Pope Leo XIII himself called this solemn consecration "the greatest act of my pontificate". [1]

Münster Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Münster is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is in the northern part of the state and is considered to be the cultural centre of the Westphalia region. It is also capital of the local government region Münsterland. Münster was the location of the Anabaptist rebellion during the Protestant Reformation and the site of the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia ending the Thirty Years' War in 1648. Today it is known as the bicycle capital of Germany.

Porto Municipality in Norte, Portugal

Porto, also known as Oporto in some languages, is the second-largest city in Portugal, one of the Iberian Peninsula's major urban areas, famous for Port wine and football team FC Porto. Porto city has a population of 287,591 and a metropolitan area with 2.3 million people (2011) in an area of 2,395 km2 (925 sq mi), making it the second-largest urban area in Portugal. It is recognized as a gamma-level global city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Study Group, the only Portuguese city besides Lisbon to be recognised as a global city.

The German nobility and royalty were status groups which until 1919 enjoyed certain privileges relative to other people under the laws and customs in the German-speaking area.

Contents

Biography

The Erbdrostenhof Palace (in Munster, Germany), birthplace of Maria Droste. Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Munster (1), Erbdrostenhof.JPG
The Erbdrostenhof Palace (in Münster, Germany), birthplace of Maria Droste.

Birth

Maria Anna Johanna Franziska Theresia Antonia Huberta Droste zu Vischering was born with her twin brother Max (Maximilian Droste zu Vischering) on September 8, 1863, solemnity feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the Erbdrostenhof Palace, in Münster, the capital city of Westphalia, Germany, as daughter of one of the most wealthy and noblest German families, who distinguished themselves by their fidelity to the Catholic Church during the persecution of the Kulturkampf  : her parents were Klemens Heidenreich Franz Hubertus Eusebius Maria, the count Droste zu Vischering, and Helene Clementine Maria Anna Sybille Huberta Antonia, the countess of Galen. [2] Because of the fragility of her health, Vischering was baptized immediately at birth.

Droste zu Vischering family

Droste zu Vischering is the name of an important Westphalian noble family. The Droste zu Vischering belong to the nobility of the Prince-Bishopric of Münster. Branches of the family are also still extant including the Counts Droste zu Vischering von Nesselrode-Reichenstein.

Nativity of Mary Christian feast day for the birth of Mary

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Nativity of Mary, or the Birth of the Virgin Mary, refers to a Christian feast day celebrating the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Erbdrostenhof palace

The Erbdrostenhof is a three-wing late Baroque palace in Münster, North-Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located on Salzstraße. It was designed by Johann Conrad Schlaun for Adolf Heidenreich Freiherr Droste zu Vischering, Erbdrost of Münster and built between 1753 and 1757. Johann Christoph Manskirch produced sculptures for the building, whilst Nikolaus Loder painted frescoes in the interior - the latter were damaged during World War Two and restored between 1965 and 1967 by the Austrian restorer Paul Reckendorfer.

The early years

Maria Droste zu Vischering spent her childhood with her family in the Castle of Darfeld, in Rosendahl near Münster, and was a child full of life. Her mother said that "She doesn’t mind her dress. She is running into the mud, jumping into the wet grass and the bushes until she is so dirty that she has to change every stitch.” [3]

Rosendahl Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Rosendahl is a municipality in the district of Coesfeld in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north-west of Coesfeld.

The Castle of Darfeld where Maria Droste zu Vischering spent her childhood. 20160505 Schloss Darfeld, Rosendahl (05293).jpg
The Castle of Darfeld where Maria Droste zu Vischering spent her childhood.

Vischering was taught at home by governesses. On April 25, 1875, Vischering and her brother Max received First Communion. In April 1879 Vischering continued her education at the boarding school of the Sacré-Coeur Sisters in Riedenburg in Bavaria. While there, she heard a homily on Psalm 45 where it says, “Listen, my daughter, ... forget your father’s house..., the king will fall in love with your beauty.” Vischering decided that she should become a religious. During the spring of 1879, while listening to a particular devotion of one of the sisters to the Heart of Christ, Maria Droste zu Vischering reached an important conclusion: "I began to understand that without the spirit of sacrifice the love of the Heart of Jesus is merely an illusion".[ citation needed ]

Maria Droste zu Vischering - Darfeld, Germany (1878).jpg
Maria Droste zu Vischering - Munster, Germany (1889).jpg
Maria Droste zu Vischering at 15 years old in Darfeld Castle (1878) and as novice nun in Münster (1889).

While at school, she contracted pneumonia and, shortly before her eighteenth birthday, returned home to recover. [3] In 1883, at the chapel of the Castle of Darfeld, Vischering is said to have had an interior locution of Jesus Christ who told her: "Thou shalt be the wife of My Heart". On 5 August of that same year, on the Silver Jubilee of her parents' marriage, Vischering told them of her desire to become a religious.

Religious life

Sister Mary of the Divine Heart Droste zu Vischering as Mother Superior of the Convent of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Porto, Portugal (1896). Maria Droste zu Vischering - Porto, Portugal (1894).jpg
Sister Mary of the Divine Heart Droste zu Vischering as Mother Superior of the Convent of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Porto, Portugal (1896).

In 1888, she visited with her mother the Hospital of Darfeld and there she found a girl who had given scandal. Maria Droste zu Vischering reached out to the unfortunate. This episode can be considered her first contact with the charism of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. In the Parish Church, a short time later, she heard again the voice of Jesus who told her: "You must enter in the Convent of the Good Shepherd". On 21 November 1888 at the age of twenty-five, Maria Droste zu Vischering joined the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd. After she received the white religious habit of the religious congregation, Vischering also received the name that became for her a program of life: Sister Mary of the Divine Heart. [3]

Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd

The Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd is a Catholic religious order that was founded in 1835 by Saint Mary Euphrasia Pelletier in Angers, France. The sisters belong to a Catholic international congregation of religious women dedicated to promoting the welfare of women and girls. The Congregation has a representative at the United Nations, and has spoken out against human trafficking.. In several countries laundries and other institutions that were run by the Sisters have been found to have forced young girls to do industrial work, with much mistreatment.

For Maria Droste zu Vischering, the devotion to the Heart of Christ always merged with the devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. "I could never separate the devotion to the Heart of Jesus from the devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and I will never be able to explain how and how much the Sacred Heart of Jesus deigned to favor me in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist".

In 1891, she devoted herself to the girls sent to the Good Shepherd Sisters in Münster for rehabilitation and care. With an ardent love for youth ministry, she maintained: "the most needy, the most miserable, the most forsaken are the children I love best". [2]

Vischering spent only five years in Münster, because she was called by obedience to a special mission. In 1894, at the age of 31, she was transferred to Portugal, where she was initially sent as assistant of the Mother Superior of the Convent of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Lisbon. From February to May 1894 she remained in the Portuguese capital, but was appointed to the position of Mother Superior of the Convent of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Porto. [2]

While she was in Porto, Portugal, Vischering reported several messages from Jesus Christ in which she was asked to contact the pope, requesting the consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

World Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Painting representing the vision received by Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart Droste zu Vischering. Jesus had revealed her: "By the brightness of this light, peoples and nations will be illumined, and they will be warmed by its ardour." Maria Droste zu Vischering and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.jpg
Painting representing the vision received by Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart Droste zu Vischering. Jesus had revealed her: "By the brightness of this light, peoples and nations will be illumined, and they will be warmed by its ardour."

On June 10, 1898, her confessor at the Good Shepherd monastery wrote to Pope Leo XIII stating that Vischering had received a message from Christ, requesting the pope to consecrate the entire world to the Sacred Heart. The pope initially did not believe her and took no action. However, on January 6, 1899, she wrote another letter, asking that in addition to the consecration, the first Fridays of the month be observed in honor of the Sacred Heart. In the letter she also referred to the recent illness of the pope and stated that Christ had assured her that Pope Leo XIII would live until he had performed the consecration to the Sacred Heart. Theologian Laurent Volken states that this had an emotional impact on Leo XIII, despite the theological issues concerning the consecration of non-Christians. [4] [5]

Pope Leo XIII commissioned an inquiry on the basis of her revelation and church tradition. In his 1899 encyclical letter Annum sacrum , Leo XIII decreed that the consecration of the entire human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus should take place on June 11, 1899. In the encyclical Leo referred to the illness about which Vischering had written, stating: "There is one further reason that urges us to realize our design: We do not want it to pass by unnoticed. It is personal in nature but just as important: God the author of all Good has saved us by healing us recently from a dangerous disease." [6]

Pope Leo XIII also composed the Prayer of Consecration to the Sacred Heart and included it in the encyclical. Pope Pius X later decreed that this consecration of the human race performed by Pope Leo XIII be renewed each year. [7]

Convent of the Good Shepherd in Porto. Convent of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Porto, Portugal.jpg
Convent of the Good Shepherd in Porto.

Death and incorruptibility

Death of Sister Mary of the Divine Heart Droste zu Vischering in the Convent of the Good Shepherd in Porto, Portugal (1896). Maria Droste zu Vischering - Porto, Portugal (1899).jpg
Death of Sister Mary of the Divine Heart Droste zu Vischering in the Convent of the Good Shepherd in Porto, Portugal (1896).

Vischering died on June 8, 1899, the feast of the Sacred Heart (properly Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus ), three days before the world consecration, which had been deferred to the following Sunday.

Vischering's incorrupt body is exposed for public veneration in the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Ermesinde, in northern Portugal. [8] The church is adjacent to the Convent of the Good Shepherd Sisters. [9] There is also a relic of her body exposed for public veneration at the Sanctuary of Christ the King in Almada, near Lisbon, Portugal.

Veneration

In 1964, Sister Mary of the Divine Heart, the countess of Droste zu Vischering, officially received the title of Venerable by the Catholic Church. On November 1, 1975, she was declared blessed by Pope Paul VI. Doctor Waldery Hilgeman is the Postulator of the cause of canonization.

Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

In His revelations to Sister Mary of the Divine Heart, Jesus is said to have revealed to her two promises:

Promise of obtaining graces through the intercession of Sister Mary of the Divine Heart

Tomb-reliquary of Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart inside the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Ermesinde). Maria Droste zu Vischering reliquary.jpg
Tomb-reliquary of Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart inside the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Ermesinde).

"Know this, My daughter, that by the charity of My Heart I desire to pour out floods of graces through your heart over the hearts of others. This is why people will get close to you with confidence. ...No one, even the most hardened sinner, will leave your presence without having received, in one way or another, consolation, relief, or a special grace." [10]

Promise of obtaining graces in the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Ermesinde

The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Ermesinde, Portugal. Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Ermesinde Portugal.jpg
The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Ermesinde, Portugal.

"For a long time, as you know, I have wanted to build a church on the Good Shepherd property. Uncertain as to whom this church should be dedicated, I have prayed and consulted many people without reaching a decision. On the First Friday of this month, I asked Our Lord to enlighten me. After the Holy Communion, He said to me: '– I desire that the church be consecrated to My Heart. You must erect here a place of reparation; from My part I will make it a place of graces. I will distribute copiously graces to all who live in this house [the Convent], those who live here now, those who will live here after, and even to the people of their relations.' Then He told me that He wished this church, above all, to be a place of reparation for sacrileges and to obtain graces for the clergy." [11]

Notes

  1. "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus". www.newadvent.org. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  2. 1 2 3 "Blessed Maria Droste - Good Shepherd Sisters Philippines". www.goodshepherdsisters.org.ph. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  3. 1 2 3 "Maria Droste Zu Vischering", Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
  4. Laurent Volken, 1963, Visions, Revelations and the Church P.J. Kenedy Publishers
  5. Niels Christian Hvidt, 2007, Christian Prophecy: The Post-Biblical Tradition, OUP Press ISBN   0-19-531447-6 page 242
  6. Annum sacrum in Vatican official website.
  7. EWTN
  8. "1982 - ERMESINDE". Flickr. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  9. Civil Parish of Ermesinde - The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
  10. Letter from Sister Mary of the Divine Heart dated June 23, 1897, in Autobiography of Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart, Religious of the Good Shepherd. Lisbon: Edition of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, 1993.
  11. Letter from Sister Mary of the Divine Heart dated August 13, 1897, in Autobiography of Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart, Religious of the Good Shepherd. Lisbon: Edition of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, 1993.

See also

Related Research Articles

Sacred Heart Christian devotion symbolising the love of Jesus Christ

The devotion to the Sacred Heart is one of the most widely practiced and well-known Catholic devotions, taking the heart of the resurrected Body as the representation of the love by Jesus Christ God, which is "his heart, pierced on the Cross", and "in the texts of the New Testament is revealed to us as God's boundless and passionate love for mankind".

Feast of the Sacred Heart

The Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Latin: Sollemnitas Sacratissimi Cordis Iesu) is a solemnity in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. It falls 19 days after Pentecost, on a Friday. The earliest possible date is May 29, as in 1818 and 2285. The latest possible date is July 2, as in 1943 and 2038. The devotion to the Sacred Heart is one of the most widely practiced and well-known Roman Catholic devotions, taking Jesus Christ's physical heart as the representation of his divine love for humanity.

Margaret Mary Alacoque Nun, mystic and saint

Margaret Mary Alacoque, V.H.M. (1647–1690), was a French Roman Catholic Visitation nun and mystic, who promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in its modern form.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic devotional title of Mary

The Immaculate Heart of Mary is a devotional name used to refer to the interior life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and, above all, her virginal love for God the Father, her maternal love for her son Jesus, and her compassionate love for all people.

Alexandrina of Balazar Catholic Virgin and «Victim of the Eucharist»

Alexandrina Maria da Costa, best known as Blessed Alexandrina of Balazar, was a Portuguese mystic and victim soul, member of the Association of Salesian Cooperators, who was born and died in Balazar. Alexandrina left many written works, which have been studied mainly in Italy by Father Umberto Pasquale. On 25 April 2004 she was declared blessed by Pope John Paul II who stated that "her secret to holiness was love for Christ".

John Eudes French missionary

Saint John Eudes was a French Roman Catholic priest and the founder of both the Eudists and the Order of Our Lady of Charity. He was also a professed member of the Oratory of Jesus and the author of the proper for the Mass and Divine Office of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin. Eudes was an ardent proponent of the Sacred Hearts and dedicated himself to its promotion and celebration; the Masses he compiled for both Sacred Hearts were both first celebrated within his lifetime. He preached missions across France, including Paris and Versailles, while earning recognition as a popular evangelist and confessor. Father Eudes was also a prolific writer and wrote on the Sacred Hearts despite opposition from the Jansenists.

Visions of Jesus and Mary

Since the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Calvary, a number of people have claimed to have had visions of Jesus Christ and personal conversations with him. Some people make similar claims regarding his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Discussions about the authenticity of these visions have often invited controversy. The Catholic Church endorses a fraction of these claims, and various visionaries it accepts have achieved beatification, or even sainthood.

The concept of the victim soul derives from the Roman Catholic teaching on redemptive suffering. Such a person is said to be one chosen by God to suffer more than most people during life, and who generously accepts the suffering, based on the example of Christ's own Passion. The Catholic Church does not officially designate anyone as a victim soul. A New Testament basis for this concept may be found in Saint Paul's statement in Col. 1:24: ''Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church" (ESV)

Mariology of the popes

The Mariology of the popes is the theological study of the influence that the popes have had on the development, formulation and transformation of the Roman Catholic Church’s doctrines and devotions relating to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Catholic devotions to Jesus Wikimedia list article

The Roman Catholic tradition includes a number of devotions to Jesus Christ. Like all Catholic devotions, these prayer forms are not part of the official public liturgy of the Church but are based on the popular spiritual practices of Roman Catholics. Many are officially approved by the Holy See as suitable for spiritual growth but not necessary for salvation.

Catholic prayers to Jesus

A number of prayers to Jesus Christ exist within the Roman Catholic tradition. These prayers have diverse origins and forms. Some were attributed to visions of saints, others were handed down by tradition.

Annum sacrum is an encyclical by Pope Leo XIII on the consecration of the entire world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was delivered in Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome on the 25th day of May, 1899, the twenty-second year of his pontificate.

Prayer of Consecration to the Sacred Heart

The Prayer of Consecration to the Sacred Heart is a Roman Catholic prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII. It was included in the 1899 encyclical Annum sacrum issued by Leo XIII as he consecrated the entire world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Faustina Kowalska nun and saint from Poland

Maria Faustyna Kowalska, also known as Saint Maria Faustyna Kowalska of the Blessed Sacrament and popularly spelled Faustina, was a Polish Roman Catholic nun and mystic. Her apparitions of Jesus Christ inspired the Roman Catholic devotion to the Divine Mercy and earned her the title of "Secretary of Divine Mercy".

The theology of Pope Leo XIII was influenced by the ecclesial teachings of the First Vatican Council (1869-1870), which had ended only eight years earlier. Leo issued some 46 apostolic letters and encyclicals dealing with central issues in the areas of marriage and family and state and society.

Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus are two Roman Catholic prayers, one composed by Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque and the other composed by Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart Droste zu Vischering. It was a part of the private revelations reported by the two mystical nuns regarding the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

The Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary refers to the historical, theological and spiritual links in Catholic devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Devotions to the two hearts are key elements of Catholic teachings, and terms such as Holy Heart, Agonizing Heart and Compassionate Heart have also been used in devotions.

Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Ermesinde) Church in Norte, Portugal

The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a Modernist church in the civil parish of Ermesinde, in the municipality of Valongo, in the Portuguese district of Porto. The religious sanctuary actually goes by several names, including the Church of the Good Shepherd or Sanctuary of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a shrine dedicated to the worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Our Lady of Pellevoisin

Our Lady of Pellevoisin is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary which refers to a series of Marian apparitions in Pellevoisin, in the province of Berry, in the department of Indre, France. Pellevoisin is west of Châteauroux in the Catholic Archdiocese of Bourges.

Rafaela Porras Ayllón

Rafaela Porras Ayllón was a Spanish Roman Catholic professed religious who established the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in conjunction with her sister; upon becoming a nun she assumed the religious name of "María of the Sacred Heart of Jesus". She was a nun for most of her life and devoted herself to the management of the congregation and resided in Rome until her death after her resignation as the order's superior in 1893.

References