February 3rd is the anniversary of the death of Blessed Maria Helena Stollenwerk, the co-founder of the Missionary Servants of the Holy Spirit and Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration. Remembering her life and missionary dedication is an opportunity to look with appreciation and gratitude at the sister families of the Missionary Servants of the Holy Spirit and the Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration, founded by Saint Arnold Janssen and the Founding Generation. In her 48 years of life, she was able to witness her passion for God’s mission from her missionary and monastic vocation, representing the two branches of the Congregations to which she belonged. In her moments of adoration, she became present with the Eucharistic Jesus to all the four corners of the earth.
Even when her state of health was deteriorating, she maintained a firm attitude of trust showing her support and interest in the missions:
“I maintain the most active interest in everything that concerns the Missionary Sisters, both those who are in the missions as well as those in the Mother House. You can count on my prayers, day and night … I will be like Moses, lifting my heart and hands to heaven for all their intentions” (August 22, 1899), Sister Assumpta Volpert, SSpS, in the book “Mutter Maria Stollenwerk, Mutter Josepha” 1920, p. 215.
May the poem “Beatitude to Blessed Maria Helena”, who´s author is unknown , help the members of the missionary families of Saint Arnold to remain firm in the mission of building a world that “may all have life and life to the full”, Jn 1O,10.
Happy the Woman, who leaned on the Word and did not follow the ideas of the illustrious, nor did she stop on the way to analyze the pros and cons of a Kulturkampf.
Happy the Woman, who knew how to look for the Triune God; day and night, searching her Will. Her life was like a tree planted on the banks of the Maas River. Drinking silence, sacrifice and prayer, she eventually gave the expected fruits: charity and joy in fraternal and missionary life.
From Europe, she overflows with vitality with strength and courage. It spread its early branches to America and Africa with the Good News, and today they are flourishing in peoples of Asia and the Far East. Its leaves will not wither.
Happy the Woman, who followed the voice of the Spirit, by giving herself to Him. For the support and fidelity to Arnoldo’s project, the town of Steyl was blessed. Because the Lord, of the righteous, takes care of the work and his ways come to fruition. Amen.
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