Bar, Cathérine de

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Foundress of the Benedictine Nuns of the Blessed Sacrament; b. Saint-Dié, Vosges, France, Dec. 31, 1614;d. Paris, April 6, 1698. At the age of 17 Catherine joined the convent of the Annonciades at Bruyère, and she was professed in 1633. A year later she became superior. Violent fighting during the Thirty Years' War forced her to flee her convent, and in 1639 she found shelter with the Benedictines of Rambervillers. Attracted to the Benedictine form of life, she requested a transfer from the Annonciades. On July 11, 1640, she took her vows as a Benedictine. War again forced her to move, this time to Montmartre. There she assumed the name Mother Mechtilde of the Blessed Sacrament. She founded the Benedictine Nuns of the Blessed Sacrament to make reparation for outrages committed against Our Savior in the Eucharist. She was in contact with such renowned religious figures of her day as St. John Eudes and Jean-Jacques Olier; she also wrote on spiritual topics.

Bibliography: i. hervin and m. dourlens, Vie de la très révérende Mère Mechtilde du Saint-Sacrement (Paris 1883). r. sÉjournÉ, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 6:534538.

[b. egan]