The gate of mercy (The Jubilee Year of Mercy and the celebration of Eucharist as the Gate of Mecy)
Feast of St. Bridget of Sweden, the nun, and a patron saint of Europe
Personage of Day: Johannes SCHNEIDER
Johannes Schneider was born on January 11, 1842 in Mieszkowice, Silesia, as the son of a poor farmer family. His parish priest made it possible for him to visit the college in Nysa. After he had accomplished his theological studies in Wroclaw he received the ordination to priesthood on the 1st of July, 1849.
Johannes Schneider was very open social and charitable issues and 1854 the bishop entrusted him with the task to found an association which was supposed to halo socially endangered house maids. These young women and girls came into the cities looking for work. While searching for a job and accommodations they were often left without help and found themselves forced into prostitution. Johannes Schneider founded the Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary to help the young girls. The society developed into the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Sisters. His high expectations towards his Sisters and collaborators as well as the unstable situation of the Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary lead to a fluctuation of employees. Shortly before his death on the 7th of December in 1876, however, the society was given the permission by the government to continue its actions.
The Founder left behind the community composed of 9 Sisters, which was not yet accepted by the church. From these humble beginnings our Congregation was formed. Our founder had to conquer many obstacles, had to bear aspersion in heroic love and did not lose hope. His life was embossed by simplicity, poverty and above all by the unshakable trust in God. We have always been able to feel the spirit of his promise: “I will always watch over you”. On May 16, 2001, the beatification process of our Founder, Servant of God Father Johannes Schneider, was started in Wroclaw.