On January 26, 2018, Pope Francis upon review of the life and good works of our Founder, Mother Alphonse Maria attributed a miracle that took place on May 29, 1955 to her intercession. The acceptance of the authenticity of this miracle officially closed a long period of study of her heroic virtues necessary for beatification.
It is our joy to announce that on September 9, 2018, Mother Alphonse Maria will be beatified in Strasbourg, France. Please join us in praising God for this profound honor to be bestowed upon our Founder who will soon be known as Blessed Alphonse Maria Eppinger. May all who continue to live the Redeemer charism through works of mercy and acts of love receive special graces during this joyous time.
Sisters of our province and several other people of the Redeemer family will travel to France for the beatification. Locally we will have a Mass to celebrate at a time to be determined.
Venerable Mother Alphonse Maria was born Elisabeth Eppinger on September 9, 1814 in the province of Alsace-Lorraine, in France. Her rural village of Niederbrönn, which means “small spring”, witnessed many hardships. Here the sick suffered at home – isolated and without proper care.
Young Elisabeth’s heart was moved with compassion by her personal experience of such conditions and their effect on human lives. She readily identified the suffering of people with the suffering of Jesus. Her one desire was to relieve the worries which overwhelm people during times of poverty and illness, by providing the means for health and wellness. This enabled them to experience God’s redeeming love.
Elisabeth also desired to become a religious. However, few active communities shared her special vision of combining religious life with care of the sick poor in their homes. This radical concept would cause her to become not only a pioneer in the field of health care, but also a visionary in religious life. On August 28, 1849, with the support of her spiritual adviser, Father Jean-David Reichard, Elisabeth founded her own congregation named to honor Jesus Christ the Redeemer. On September 10th of that year she received the habit and officially took the name Mother Alphonse Maria.
Through the labor and love of Mother Alphonse Maria Eppinger and her Sisters in the years that followed, the Congregation was called to serve throughout Eastern Europe. Today, in many different ways, thousands of people across six continents live the legacy of Elisabeth Eppinger. They express the healing presence of Jesus in a suffering world, by providing holistic health care and social services animated by faith and prayer.
On December 19, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI released a decree that officially recognized the heroic virtues of Alphonse Maria Eppinger and elevated her to the title of “Venerable Servant of God.”