St Maria (1682-1744) was born the sixth of eight children into a poor weaver family in Kaufbeuren, Germany. Her family were devout Christians and Anna (her birth name) hoped to become a nun with the local Franciscan Order. However, unable to pay the customary dowry, she was at first, refused entry. It was only when, by good fortune, the local Mayor, purchased nearby property to the monastery and donated it to the Order, that Anna was accepted as a novice at his request.
While her acceptance was a blessing, it took considerable time and patience before others treated her as their equal. Initially, she was given the menial and thankless tasks but Anna gladly accepted all with dignity and silence. Over the following years, Anna progressed to Porter, Mistress of Novices and ultimately Mother Superior of the monastery. As Superior, she said, “God wants the monastery rich in virtue, not in temporal goods”.
St Maria was canonised in 2001 by John Paul II who spoke of her leadership as “unlimited trust in divine providence, readiness in the acts of common life, love of silence, devotion to Jesus crucified, and devotion to the Eucharist and the Blessed Mother”.
St Maria’s Feast Day is 5th April, the day of her death. A major shrine was built in her honour at Crescentiakloster, Kaufbeuren, Germany.
Pray for us that we will remain resilient in our determination to do what our heart tells us.
Glory be to the…