Feast of Blessed Maria Luiza Merkert (November 14)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Maria Luiza Merkert

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED MARIA LUIZA MERKERT (SEPTEMBER 21, 1817-NOVEMBER 14, 1872)

Cofoundress of the Sisters of Saint Elizabeth

Also known as Blessed Maria Luise Merkert

Blessed Maria Luiza Merkert comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Anton Merkert (a merchant) and Maria Barbara (Pfitzner) Merkert, of Niesse, Prussia, had two children.  Matilde and her younger sister, Maria Luiza (or Maria Luise).  Our saint, born on September 21, 1817, received the sacrament of baptism five days later.  Anton died on June 21, 1818.  The daughters, educated at the local girls’ school, tended their ailing mother, who died of tuberculosis on July 11, 1842.

The sisters decided to devote the rest of their lives to serving God, present in the abandoned, the sick, and the poor.  Matilde and Maria Luiza became two of the four foundresses of the Association of Sisters for the Assistance of Abandoned Sick Under the Protection of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, on September 27, 1842.  The other two foundresses were Franciszka Werner and Clara Wolff, a Franciscan tertiary.  Matilde died of typhus on May 8, 1846.  On the advice of Father Francis Xavier Fischer, Werner and Blessed Maria Luiza became novices in the Sisters of Saint Charles Borromeo in Prague on Christmas Day, 1846.  Yet Werner and our saint returned to the Association of Sisters for the Assistance of Abandoned Sick Under the Protection of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 30, 1850.  Wolff, injured while on duty in late 1852, died on January 4, 1853.

The Association of Sisters for the Assistance of Abandoned Sick Under the Protection of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus became the Sisters of Saint Elizabeth, named after St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231), in Niesse, Prussia, on November 19, 1850.  Members, in their homes, cared for abandoned patients.  With diocesan approval (1859), Blessed Maria Luiza became the first Superior General.  She remained in that position until she died of typhus on November 14, 1872.  Our saint was 55 years old.

Holy Mother Church has officially recognized our saint’s sanctity.  Pope John Paul II declared her a Venerable in 2004.  Pope Benedict XVI beatified her in 2007.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 24, 2021 COMMON ERA

GENOCIDE REMEMBRANCE

THE FEAST OF SAINT EGBERT OF LINDISFARNE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK; AND SAINT ADALBERT OF EGMONT, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF SAINT FIDELIS OF SIGMARINGEN, CAPUCHIN FRIAR AND MARTYR, 1622

THE FEAST OF JOHANN WALTER, “FIRST CANTOR OF THE LUTHERAN CHURCH”

THE FEAST OF SAINT MELLITUS, BISHOP OF LONDON, AND ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

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O God, by whose grace your servant Blessed Maria Luiza Merkert,

kindled with the flame of your love, became a burning and a shining light in your Church:

Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline,

and walk before you as children of light;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Acts 2:42-47a

Psalm 133 or 34:1-8 or 119:161-168

2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Matthew 6:24-33

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 723

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