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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lightening Strikes Home

On Pentecost Sunday of 1845, Frances Schervier was a twenty-six-year-old Franciscan Third Order lay servant. She had just returned to her home in Aachen, Germany after attending to her many rounds of charitable works when she found her friend Gertrude Frank standing rain-soaked at the door. Gertrude insisted upon staying overnight. Later that evening after Frances had gone to sleep; Gertrude woke her up, declaring, “By command of the Lord, I have something to tell you.” She then related how she had experienced repeated visions of Christ who had commanded that Frances was to found a new religious congregation to heal His wounds, that is, to care for the poor and the sick. Gertrude’s hesitation to convey this message to Frances had been brought to an abrupt end earlier that day when, as she was heading to her own home, a thunderstorm overtook her and a lightening bolt struck the road a short distance ahead of her. Frances went on to found and become the mother superior of the Sisters of the Poor of Saint Francis. Mother Frances converted death row inmates by remaining with them on their last night to prepare for death. She died on December 14, 1876.
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