Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Short Cuts

Image of Bl. Maria Boznel

Facts

Birth: 1830

Death: 1905

Beatified By: Pope Francis


Blessed Aline Bonzel was born in Olpe, Germany on September 17, 1830 to a wealthy and influential family. Her father died while she was young, leaving her mother to raise little Aline. Fortunately, her mother was a very faithful and devoted woman who saw that Aline received a proper upbringing in the Church.

Aline took to Church like with alacrity and soon discerned that she was being called to a religious life.

Despite her mother's strong faith, she initially resisted Aline's desire to join a religious community. Aline would not enter religious life until age 29, delayed by her mother's disapproval and health problems.

Aline formed a religious community with two of her friends. She took the name Maria Theresa. The tiny community concentrated their efforts at providing nursing. Unfortunately, this placed them at odds with another established community that also provided nursing.

Maria Theresa also desired to use the Franciscan rule for her order, contrary to the dominant Augustinian rule. The friction gained the attention of Church authorities who recognized the two orders as separate with Sister Maria Theresa recognized as the superior of the new community. In 1863, the community was formalized as the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration.

Mother Maria Theresa was very dedicated to the cause of the poor and the outcast. She believed strongly in following the example of Christ as described in the Gospels. With this devotion, it was necessary for her to properly establish her order along with a Constitution and a style of dress. The community was founded as a Third Order Franciscan Congregation, which it remains today. They also adopted a simple form of dress, which remained standard until 1960.

Mother Maria Theresa, in addition to caring for the sick, enjoined her community to caring for orphans. She was aided in her work by the wealthy families of Olpe, with whom she was well-connected. Her community grew slowly, joined by just two or three new sisters each year.

Despite help from wealthy families, her congregation remained poor, much by design, and it was by the Grace of God that they continued to grow and flourish. Schools of advanced education for girls were formed and many of these young women became nurses in new communities. Her order began to spread.

During the Franco-Prussian War, Maria Theresa and 20 of her sisters provided nursing to the soldiers. The Emperor awarded them medals.

Following the war, with the rise of Chancellor Bismarck, and unfounded fears that the Catholic minority in Germany could rise in opposition to protestant rule, government officials attempted to gain control of the Church. Part of their strategy was to seize Church property. To preserve their community, all property was put into Maria Theresa's maiden name, Aline Boznel. However, the restrictions they faced prevented the acceptance of new candidates--part of Bismarck's "Culture Fight." Their restrictions also prevented the practice of most of their ministry. This threatened the order with extinction.

To continue their work, Mother Maria Theresa sent seven sisters of the order to Lafayette, Indiana, where they could operate freely. The new community served as nurses and taught the children of German immigrants to the United States.

Mother Maria Theresa considered transplanting the entire community to the U.S., but by 1880 Bismarck's Culture Fight had come to an end with the arrival of a new pope who was willing to negotiate with the powerful chancellor. Unified, peaceful Catholic resistance to Bismarck also helped.

With persecution of the Church ended, the community in Germany grew rapidly. Likewise, the American order also grew rapidly.

As Mother Maria Theresa grew older, she also became weary. She expressed a desire to no longer be elected as superior of her order, but time and again, she was overwhelmingly elected. Even whens he was near death in 1904, she was reelected as general superior.

She finally gained rest in 1905 when she passed away after a long illness.

In 2010, the Church proclaimed her "venerable." In November 2013, following documentation of a miracle in Colorado Springs, Colorado, she was scheduled to be beatified by Pope Francis.


Bl. Maria Boznel Comments




More Saints





Browse Saints by Category


Popular Saints

Rank

Saint

8.

Image of St. Jude Thaddaeus

St. Jude Thaddaeus

St. Jude, known as Thaddaeus, was a brother of St. James the Less, and a relative of Our Saviour. St. Jude was one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus. Ancient writers tell us that he preached ... continue reading | shop

9.

Image of St. Therese of Lisieux

St. Therese of Lisieux

Generations of Catholics have admired this young saint, called her the "Little Flower", and found in her short life more inspiration for own lives than in volumes by theologians. Yet ... continue reading | shop

10.

Image of St. Sebastian

St. Sebastian

According to his legend, Sebastian was born at Narbonne, Gaul. He became a soldier in the Roman army at Rome in about 283, and encouraged Marcellian and Marcus, under sentence of death, to ... continue reading | shop

All Popular Saints

Saint of the Day

Image of St. John Vianney

St. John Vianney

St. John Vianney, Priest (Patron of priests) Feast day - August 4 Universally known as the "Cure of Ars)," St. John Mary Vianney was ordained a priest in 1815. Three years later he was made ... continue reading

More Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day by E-Mail

Saint of the Day newsletter icon

Learn about the lives of the saints and other saint resources, including a calendar, over 5,000 saint biographies, our most popular saints, and a list of patron saints. 7 days / week. See Sample


Required


Female Saints

Image of St. Philomena

St. Philomena

Little is known of her life, and the information was received by private revelation from her. Martyred at about age 14 in the early days of the Church. In 1802 the remains of a young woman were found in the catacomb of Saint Priscilla on the Via Salaria. It was ... continue reading

More Female Saints



Saint Calendar
Saint Feast Days
Saint Fun Facts

Angels

Image of St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading


Image of St. Gabriel, the Archangel

St. Gabriel, the Archangel

The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading



Saints Fun Facts

Saints Fun Facts for St. Lucy

St. Lucy

Lucy's name means "light", with the same root as "lucid" which means "clear, radiant, understandable." Unfortunately for us, Lucy's history does not match her name. ... continue reading

Saints Fun Facts for Sts. Nereus & Achilleus

Sts. Nereus & Achilleus

So often we hear people or even ourselves excuse an action by saying "I was only following orders." But for Nereus and Achilleus this excuse could not stand in the face of the cross. ... continue reading



Christian Saints & Heroes

Image of On July 31st we remember the founder of the Company or Society of Jesus (Jesuits), Ignatius of Loyola. He is the patron saint of soldiers and of retreatants. There is a connection. He was a soldier and the Spiritual Exercise which he left us have been used for hundreds of years to help men and women like us encounter Jesus Christ, on retreats, and in our daily lives. The disciplines they promote can help us to grow in holiness of life, no matter what our state in life, and equip us for service in the Army of the King, Jesus Christ.

The Life of Ignatius of Loyola Challenges All of Us to Become Saints

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Over the centuries, the Jesuits have been relied upon by Popes as trustworthy, heroic soldiers for Jesus Christ and His Church. Yes, there have been times when the company seemed to lose its fervor. However, Jesus Christ the King has always sent His Spirit to ... continue reading

More Christian Saints & Heroes


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Numbers 12:1-13
1 Miriam, and Aaron too, criticised Moses over the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 6-7, 12-13
3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 14:22-36
22 And at once he made the disciples get into the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 4th, 2015 Image

St. John Vianney
August 4: St. John Vianney, Priest (Patron of priests) Feast day - August ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter