Blessed Hendrina Stenmanns

(1852 - 1903)

Feastday: May 20

Hendrina Stenmanns was beatified on Sunday June 29, 2008. This happened during a solemn celebration of the Eucharist in the open-air theater "De Doolhof" in the North Limburg village of Tegelen, led by Bishop Frans Wiertz van Roermond. Nearly 4,000 people attended the ceremony. The Tegelen Passion Plays are performed here every five years.

She was born on May 18, 1852, as the eldest of seven children, in the German town of Issum, near the German Marian pilgrimage site Kevelaer, in North Rhine-Westphalia. Early on, an open heart developed in her for the poor, the sick, the needy and the dying. Her wish to become a Franciscanian was not fulfilled due to various circumstances. The missionary fire was awakened in her by a student of her father, who wanted to become a missionary in Steyl.

In February 1884, Stenmanns came to live as a kitchen helper in the Mission House of the Saint Arnold Janssen-founded congregation of the Company of the Divine Word in Steyl. She was one of the driving forces behind the Mission Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Spirit in Steyl near Tegelen. In 1892 she received the order of this Mission Congregation and was given the monastic name "Sister Josefa".

Together with Blessed Mother Mary (Helena Stollenwerk) she laid the foundation of the sister community, which soon numbered two hundred sisters. Hendrina became Stenmann's superior in 1898. She died after an asthma attack on May 20, 1903 in Steyl, where she was also buried.

The process for her beatification began in 1950. In 1991, the Pope ruled that Stenmanns possessed the heroic virtue that is a prerequisite for beatification. Hendrina Stenmanns's beatification was possible after the Vatican determined that a boy in Brazil who was doomed to death in 1985 from complications from an appendectomy was suddenly recovered after a nurse prayed for Hendrina Stenmanns's intercession . The Brazilian, who miraculously recovered while his family waited for his death, was present at this beatification.

Stenmanns' beatification is the second in the Netherlands. Three years ago, Maria Tauscher was also beatified in Limburg. Beatifications were previously usually pronounced in Rome, in the presence of the Pope. When he took office in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI indicated that he would only pronounce the canonizations himself. Beatifications have since taken place in the diocese in which the candidate blessed died. In the case of mother Josefa in the diocese of Roermond.

With over 3,500 members in 45 countries, the Mission Sisters are now among the largest sister congregations in the world.

Prayer for the intercession of Blessed Hendrina Stenmanns

We thank you God,
for Blessed Mother Josefa, Hendrina Stenmanns.
Her life has been a testimony to simplicity and goodness.
You called her to give her life
of the Church's mission statement.
She wanted nothing but
“With God's help to be the least
and sacrifice me completely
for the work of spreading the faith. ”

The joy of serving you radiated from all her being
and made the people who met her happy and happy.

We think of her words:
"Our mission is to make every heart receptive to love."

We know that she has preceded us in this
and ask that this is also in our lives
and in the hearts of more and more people
where may be in highs and lows,
in growing receptivity to Your love.

We pray for this …… .. (enter your own intention)
through the intercession of Blessed Mother Josefa
and in the name of Jesus our Lord

Our father...
Hail Mary ...
Glory to the Father ...
Blessed Mother Josefa, pray for us.

With thanks to the Diocese of Roermond for allowing us to use the image and the prayer for intercession of Blessed Hendrina Stenmanns; see also: