Merten, Blandina, Bl.

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Baptized Maria Magdalena, virgin of the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Calvary, Ahrweiler; b. July 10, 1883, Düppenweiler, Saarland, Germany; d. May 18, 1918, Trier, Rhineland Palatinate, Germany. Maria Magdalena was the ninth child of a peasant family. After she completed grammar school, a tutor helped her prepare (189899) for entrance to the teachers' college of Marienau bei Vallendar, where she studied from 1899 to 1902. After passing the licensing examination, she was a teacher in Oberthal, Saarland, then taught in Morscheid, Hunsrück (190307) and Großrosseln an der Saar (190708). A chance meeting with the Ursuline superior of Kalvarienberg, Ahrweiler, led to her entry into the order (April 22, 1908) and profession of temporary vows (Nov. 3, 1910). Thereafter she taught children in the order's schools at Saarbrücken and Trier. She professed her final vows in 1913 and contracted tuberculosis shortly thereafter. She endured her illness with resolute patience and remained committed to her teaching obligations until her death. On May 18, 1990, Sister Blandina's mortal remains were transferred to her new titular chapel, designed by Karl P. Böhr, in Trier's Saint Paulin cemetery. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II, Nov. 1, 1987.

Feast: May 18.

Bibliography: L'Osservatore Romano, Eng. ed. 47 (1987): 78. m. h. visarius, A Hidden Spouse of Our Lord: The Life of Sister Blandine Merten, Ursuline, Compiled from Recollections, Letters and Her Notes (New York 1938).

[k. i. rabenstein]