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Congregatio Servarum Spiritus Sancti de Adoratione Perpetua
(SSpSAP)

Sister-Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration

 

Arnoldus Family

Blessed Maria Virgo

Mother Mary Michael

Mother Josepha Beatified

Centennial Year

Mother Mary Michael (Adolfine Tönnies)

Mother Mary Michael was the faithful collaborator of St. Arnold Janssen in the founding of our Congregation. She was a woman rooted in God, who promoted our interior and exterior growth in the spirit of the founder. Mother Mary Michael introduced the canonical Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours) and with ardent conviction, she fostered perpetual adoration of the exposed Blessed Sacrament.

Mother Mary Michael exhorted the Sisters to fidelity to the holy rule in these words: “If we conscientiously live according to the holy Rule, we shall certainly attain holiness. Let us become holy and strive for the highest holiness. But it must be a genuine, solid, and sound asceticism that seeks nothing extraordinary and avoids everything singular. Let us imitate the saints of our days, who reached their high goal through most faithful fulfillment of their vocational duties. What really matters is that we do ordinary things extraordinarily well. Our salvation and sanctification consist in fidelity in little things. If we do our duty conscientiously and thus live as we should, then we are the happiest people in the world. “

Mother Mary Michael had an intense love of the Holy Spirit and of her vocation and would exhort the Sisters to a similar love in the following words: “How beautiful is our vocation, how holy our state, how sublime our task! With our whole heart, with our whole soul, and with all our strength, let us love the Holy Spirit, to whom we are indebted for everything. He is our kind Lord, and we should be his faithful servants. He is our Father, and we are his needy children. Yet more – he is our whole love; let us be entirely his. O eternal love, God the Holy Spirit, be my love!”

Mother Mary Michael had a high regard for religious life and the holy Rule which is the guide: “ Fidelity to the holy Rule! If we conscientiously live according to the holy Rule, we shall certainly attain holiness. Let us become holy and strive for the highest holiness. But it must be genuine, solid, and sound asceticism that seeks nothing extraordinary and avoids everything singular. Let us imitate the saints of our days, who as Pope Pius XI has said, reach their high goal though most faithful fulfillment of their vocational duties. What really matters is that we do ordinary things extraordinarily well. Our salvation and sanctification consist in fidelity in little things. When I see a Sister caring very faithfully for the most lowly position in the house, I am more edified than if I were to see her in ecstasy.”

 

Mother Mary Michael saw the Holy Eucharist as the center and the “sun” of a convent of Sister-Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration. Once she said: “Perpetual adoration, how beautiful it is! And especially the night with its unending hours of prayer – how much more it offers of external beauty, and in still greater degree of inner beauty, than the world can offer of beauty and greatness. Let us in our sanctuary vie with the nightingale outside to praise and glorify God. How grateful we must be to the good God for the perpetual exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on our altar and for our vocation to the service of perpetual adoration. The Blessed Sacrament is indeed the most beautiful and most sublime gift that our small earth and the whole world calls its own.”

Always conscious of our duty to pray for priests, Mother Mary Michael exhorted the Sisters: Our vocation binds us in a particular manner to pray for the priests of holy Church, and among these the priests of the Society of the Divine Word take the first place. This was the desire of our Founder. We have the inestimable grace of spending our entire life far from the clamor and dangers of the world in close proximity to our divine Savior; but the priests, despite their sublime vocation, do not have this privilege.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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