Planning Committee for: The 200th Jubilee of the Birthday
of Venerable Mother Alphonse Marie Eppinger
Motto: The greatness of a simple life
Celebration of 200th birthday of Venerable Mother Alphonse Marie
Spirituality of Mother Alphonse Marie
4. About love for the neighbour
Love for God as the source of love for the neighbour
From her childhood, Elisabeth Eppinger loved God and consecrated her life to him totally in the search for perfect love through the mystical union with Christ and through service to the neighbour.
She was a contemplative woman and lived in the presence of God; but at the same time she was a dynamical and charitable person caring for the wellbeing of the suffering brothers and sisters. She was concerned about leading them to God, so that they love Him and reach salvation. Her heart was filled with love for Christ, with the longing to serve Him in the neighbour, so that they know Him.
The objective of her love for the neighbour was the salvation of people. She prayed persistently for the conversion of sinners.
People who were not able to find any peace of mind, who were doubtful, were suffering and tormented by temptations, experienced conversion, peace and consolation through Mother Alphonse Maria, through her love and care.
She had a particular love for the weak and poor children and dedicated herself to them with loving attentiveness in all their needs.
Mother Alphonse Maria sat up with the dying, prayed for them and for the dead; she particularly entrusted this service to her sisters.
The love towards the sick was characteristic of her. This flame of love burning in her heart was wonderfully seen in the year 1854 at the time of the terrible Cholera epidemic. In a letter addressed to the sisters nursing these patients and thus taking the risk of contagion upon themselves, she called upon them for absolute self-abandon – an invitation, to sacrifice life for the neighbour out of love to Jesus.
There were also people being hostile towards Mother Alphonse Maria causing her a great deal of suffering. She however said nothing on this matter that could have offended the love for neighbour.
In the life of Mother Alphonse Maria, the love for neighbour was expressed through deeds which were often heroic. Real love for God always leads to love for neighbour. The authenticity of the mystical experiences of Mother Alphonse Maria finds its confirmation in the deeds of her love for neighbour.
(Theologians, Rome 2009)