The Servant of God Mary Magdalen Bentivoglio
Virgin, Second Order
Mother Bentivoglio's Cause for Canonization was introduced on April 1, 1969.
The Servant of God, Mother Mary Magdalena Bentivoglio of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Foundress and Former Abbess of the Order of St. Clare of the Strict Observance of the First Rule in the United States of America, was born in Rome, Italy, on July 29, 1824.
Mary was a stubborn but pious child who enjoyed being at the Colosseum, imaging that she was living and dying alongside the ancient martyrs, she became a Poor Clare Nun of the Primitive Observance of San Damiano at the age of 30. She found the discipline difficult, perceived it, however, as a way to reach God, and practiced a strict observance to the Rule.
Mary Magdalena and her birth sister Costanza, were sent to the United States of America in 1875, to establish the Poor Clares there. Pope Pius IX had requested the Order's expansion to the United States, and a Franciscan Order in Minnesota asked for their presence. Before they left, Sister Mary Magdalen was named Abbess. Some clerics told them that they would fail, as contemplative life was not suited to Americans, but the Sisters pressed on, sometimes having to move several times before being allowed to settle in peace.
When they arrived in New York, though, they received a message that the Franciscans in Minnesota were expecting teaching sisters, not cloistered nuns.
At last, Archbishop Napoleon Perch� of New Orleans invited the Sisters there. They arrived in March 1877, and their first postulant joined them. But then the Franciscan Provincial who had been delegated authority over Mother Magdalen arrived and ordered the Sisters to leave New Orleans because they were too far from other Franciscan houses. He suggested Cleveland so the three Sisters moved there in August 1877. Their Convent was a converted cigar factory.
In January 1878, Carmelite Sisters from the Netherlands joined them. But the two communities didn't mix well, and the three Poor Clares returned to New Orleans. Then the Apostolic Vicar of Omaha, James O'Connor, invited them to Omaha, where the Creighton family offered them a home. They moved into their Monastery in 1882, and soon other postulants and sisters from an active religious community joined them.
In 1888, Mother Magdalen and Sister Constanza were denounced by an emotionally unstable Sister as guilty of irregular personal conduct, alcoholic intemperance, financial mismanagement and acting without due deference to the Bishop. There followed a 19-month ordeal that included three trials, in all of which the Sisters were found innocent, plus a formal investigation ordered by the Vatican before all charges were dropped.
When the Monastery of St. Clare developed in
Evansville, Mother Magdalen and three other
Sisters went there.
(Seventh Sunday after
humble beseech Thee to remove from us all that is harmful and
to grant us all that is profitable to us.
Through the same Christ
Our Lord Who liveth �and reigneth
Last edited 13/09/2017 15:44
Web administrator Wayne Benge