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PROVINCE OF SOUTHERN AFRICA

Blessed BLANDINE MERTEN was born at Dϋppenweiler on the Saar, in the diocese of Trier, West Germany, on 10 July 1883. She was the ninth child among ten brothers and sisters. At Baptism she was given the name Maria Magdalena. By their way of life and their example, her parents, simple farmers, prepared the young girl for a life firmly founded on the Christian faith.


Whatever task was entrusted to Mary Magdalene, be it as a pupil, a student, or a teacher at an elementary school (1902-1908) she always endeavoured to do it perfectly.


Already as a schoolgirl she was called ‘an angel’; and that name remained with her, for she was to her pupils and their parents an example of faithfully observing God’s commandments of gentleness, kindness, modesty and perfect service.


At the age of 25 she entered the Ursuline Congregation of Mount Calvary at their Motherhouse at Calvarienberg – Ahrweiler, and on 04 November 1913, she took her final vows.


Mary Magdalene – now called Sister Blandine – was convinced that it was as a member of an apostolically active community that she could most effectively help young people in their development and lead them towards a life guided by a Christian spirit.


Sr Blandine devoted herself unreservedly to her call, closely uniting her apostolic actions with a life of prayer. In her dealings with pupils and Sisters she revealed prudent concern, zeal, patient yet firm kindness and humility. She preferred to remain unknown and unnoticed, and still she was an example to all.


She was not given a long span of life to be actively engaged as a teacher and educator. In the autumn of 1916 she fell seriously ill with pulmonary TB, a disease at that time still incurable. God accepted the pledge she had taken on the day of her final profession: to become a sacrifice to His Divine Love. In total abandonment to the Divine Will she endured the illness until she died at the convent of St Bantus at Trier on 18 May, 1918. She was not yet 35 years old and had not completed 11 years in the Ursuline Order. She was buried in the churchyard next to the Basilica of St Paulinus at Trier.


Soon after her death it was seen, more and more, how greatly Sister Blandine was loved and revered by all those who had known her. Her testimony continued to be alive. Her intercession was asked for by an ever increasing number of people.


This induced the Bishop of Trier to introduce the cause of her beatification. Sister Blandine walked the ‘humble way’, loving god and her neighbour. She always had a open heart and a giving hand for those who live on the shady side of life. She did not do any extraordinary things, but she did do the ordinary things extraordinarily well. Her life inspires confidence. As a teacher and educator, as a nun, as human being, as a person enduring illness and suffering, expiating and interceding, she walked the road of hope and love from death to life and thereby became an example both lovable and inspiring.

It is in the secret of her life so faithfully lived that we find the missionary message to all of us. The beatification of 01 November 1987, makes Blessed Sister Blandine’s light shine still more brightly before all people “that they may give praise to the Father in heaven.”

(Mt. 5:6)

PRAYER

Almighty and merciful God,

You chose Blessed Blandine to serve You and all people,

wholeheartedly, as a teacher and an Ursuline Sister.

Grant that helped by her intercession

we may eagerly follow her example of humility and love

and thus always do your will.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord and God,

Who in the unity of the Holy Spirit lives and reigns for ever.

AMEN.




BLESSED BLANDINE MERTEN OSU

Born at Dϋppenweiler/Saar  1883

Died at Trier    1918

Beatified at St Peter’s, Rome  1987

Day of Commemoration  18 May


In one meditation, Bl. Sr. Blandine wrote:

“Everything is heaven for me. ...

“My heaven is the will of God.

I am lost in Him, I have forgotten myself,

So that all things, all creatures and events, speak only of Him,

And for me, there is nothing higher,

more beautiful more lovable

or better in heaven or on earth

than God alone.”

To the question:

“What does it mean to live by love?”

She answered:

“To will only what he wills,

And desire that His holy will may be done

by me and all about me.”

(“At Home in the Heart of the Church”:

Pg. 29: P.A. Mayer OSB )