August 21, 1849
Investing of Mother Pauline with three companions:
Mathilde Kothe, Maria Rath, Elisabeth Schlüter
in the Busdorf Church, Paderborn
"O dear Busdorf Church, who could have surmised that within your walls I would find this supreme happiness!"
Our Foundress is Pauline von Mallinckrodt
She was born in Minden on June 3, 1817, but she spent most of her childhood and youth in Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle).
Pauline is a bright child. She loves to play with her brothers and her sister, she is a passionate dancer and rider. However she learns from her mother to have an eye for the poor. Already at a very young age she shows a distinctive social interest. With the death of her mother the lighthearted childhood and adolescence. ceases for the 17-year old Pauline. She has to assume the care for her younger siblings and the responsibility for the large household. But her father also makes it possible for her to make travels though Germany and other European countries which broaden her horizon. She enjoys the beauty of nature and places of cultural interest. But above all she visits many institutions who take care of the poor, the blind, the sick.
In Paderborn, where the family lives after the retirement of the father, Pauline comes in contact with much of the misery resulting from increasing industrialization. Pauline is getting involved in caring for the poor and sick. She establishes a day nursery for little children where she soon also accepts the first blind children. They experience her special care and education.
Pauline‘s service is rooted in a deep faith. With the years, her wish to consecrate her whole life to God, becomes stronger and stronger. Because she does not find a Congregation which could also take over the care and education of the blind, she gets the advice - after a long time of searching God’s Will - to start her own Congregation.
On August 21, 1849 Pauline von Mallinckrodt establishes the Congregation of the Sisters of Christian Charity..
The Congregation grows fast so that the Sisters could assume, besides the care for the blind, other educational and charitable works as well.
By living the spirit of the Gospel the Sisters want to bring Christ’s light to the various ministries in which the poor of any kind experience love and attention
During the Kulturkampf most of the houses in Germany were taken away by the government. But Pauline von Mallinckrodt, open for new ways that God shows her, takes over ministries in other European countries and in North and South America.
Mother Pauline died on April 30, 1881 in Paderborn. Her grave is in St. Conrad’s Chapel in Paderborn in the garden of the Motherhouse of the German Province, today a center of attraction for many who seek help.
On April 14, 1985 Pauline von Mallinckrodt was beatified. She is exemplary for a vision which stands up for human dignity and a meaningful life for all. It is the vision of Christ-like love.