Franciscan Saints




3rd August



The Servant of God Magdalen Dahmen


Virgin, Third Order


She was born in 1787 in Laek in Dutch Limburg at received the name of Catherine at her baptism, at an early age her purity of heart drew her towards God. She received the habit of the third order Regular in 1817 and spent some happy years with a group of likeminded women who devoted themselves, in the Spirit of St. Francis, to intimate union with God and charitable works.

In 1825 Catherine was sent to Heythuizen where she was given the task of laundering the altar linens for the Parish church and opened a school for children; living there with three other Tertiaries in religious harmony and in self-sacrificing labours.

In 1835 After much opposition, accepted by her with trustful resignation, she was able to establish the Mother house of her Congregation: this was the Franciscan Sisters of Penance and of Christian charity; this was founded in Nonnenwerth. Catherine always believed that: “God would provide”.

On February 11 1836 the First Reception took place and Catherine received the religious name of Magdalen.


This new Franciscan Family grew rapidly. The Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity ; and to t he New World USA The Sisters of St. Francis

Having established the congregation Mother Magdalen handed the government to another sister, no one was happier than Magdalen who from that day forward immersed herself in the chapel and her little cell, the kingdom wherein she spent a life of intimate union with God. A sister wrote  that it was “difficult to say which was the predominant virtue of her life”.

Magdalen experienced great joy when the purchase of Nonnenwerth, the Isle of our Lady was completed in 1890, ever since then this has been the mother-house and novitiate of the congregation.

Mother Magdalen went to God on August the 7th, 1858, her last words were: “Yes, I shall pray for all of you!” There were no tears nor lamentations because the sisters were convinced  that their departed mother would watch over their undertakings from heaven, that her trust would not be confounded. God would provide.

As of 1959 steps have been taken to obtain her beatification (Cf. Forum, 1942, pp. 89-90, in Habig 1959,p.551)






Prayer of the Church


Hear our prayer, O Lord, and grant us, Thy faithful servants,

to persevere in constancy and in unsullied purity, that, being

strengthened by Thy divine love, we may never be separated

from Thee by any temptation.

Through the same Christ Our Lord Who liveth  and reigneth
Thee and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen



Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois


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