Wednesday, May 1, 2024

St. Katharine Drexel and the Blessed Mother


    The daughter born to Francis Anthony and Hannah Langstroth Drexel on November 26, 1858, was baptized “Catherine Mary Drexel.” This was the year of the appearances of Our Blessed Mother in Lourdes. Kate, as the child was affectionately called, and her family visited the Shrine at Lourdes in 1875. As a young woman, Kate and her two sisters returned to Lourdes in 1884 and 1886.

         Is it any wonder that St. Katharine had a great devotion of Our Lady?

         In 1891, when Kate pronounced her first vows as Mother Mary Katharine of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, it was on the transferred feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, February 12 (Feb. 11 was Ash Wednesday that year.)

As St. Katharine noted: "If God the Father deemed Mary holy enough to Mother His only Son, who is there who may not confide ourselves to her – we are her children."  We can go to the Blessed Mother with our concerns, our hopes, our pains – she had them all and can help to share her strong faith with us, to help us cope with daily life.

St. Katharine suggested that: "We shall ask of her that she will form Christ within us—her own faith and her own life."  Forming Christ within us would give us the strength and the peace to carry on through the struggles of daily life and to achieve a sense of peace and joy. St. Katharine prayed: "Teach me, O holy Mother of God, something of this real joy—the joy that is arrived at through faith, through suffering, through a perfect union of heart with the Sacred Heart of Jesus and through conformity to God's holy Will: this is the joy of the risen life.”

         A word of advice from St. Katharine: “Do not forget to propagate as much as possible devotion to the Rosary and meditation on the mysteries.”  The Rosary is a “symbol of love.”

Do you want to read a biography of the Blessed Mother? St. Katharine recommends Mary’s autobiography – the “Magnificat” which she prayed when meeting Elizabeth.

With St. Katharine, let us pray for all of our deceased armed forces personnel on Memorial Day.

         Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers! And to all who have served in that role! May the Blessed Mother continue to support and inspire you.


Stephanie Morris

April 19, 2024