HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







Maria Alphonse Ratisbonne



A converted Jew, born at Strasburg on 1 May, 1814; died at Ain Karim near Jerusalem, on 6 May, 1884. He belonged to a wealthy and prominent Jewish family in Alsace. After studying law at Paris he became a member of his uncle's famous banking firm, and in 1841 was betrothed to the daughter of his oldest brother. As she was only sixteen years old, the marriage was postponed, and Ratisbonne entered upon a pleasure trip to the Orient. Though nominally a Jew, he was a radical infidel, a scoffer at religion, and, after the conversion of his brother Theodor, a rabid enemy of everything Catholic. On his intended tour to the Orient, he came to Rome, where on 20 January, 1842, he was miraculously converted to Catholicism in the Church of S. Andrea delle Fratte by an apparition of the Blessed Virgin. After his conversion he assisted his brother, Theodor, in founding the Sisterhood of Our Lady of Sion in 1843, was ordained priest in 1847, and entered the Society of Jesus. Desirous, however, to devote himself entirely to the conversion of the Jews, he left the society with the consent of Pius IX, transplanted the Sisters of Sion to Jerusalem in 1855, and built for them in 1856 the large Convent of Ecce Homo with a school and an orphanage for girls. In 1860 he erected the Convent of St. John on the mountain at Ain Karim, together with a church and another orphanage for girls. Here Alphonse laboured with a few companions (Pères de Sion) for the conversion of Jews and Mohammadens until his death. For boys he erected the orphanage of St. Peter, near the Gate of Jaffa outside of Jerusalem, with a school for mechanical arts in the city.

De Bussière, L'enfant de Marie (Paris, 1859); Hewit, Two miraculous conversions from Judaism in Catholic World, XXXIX New York, 1884), 613-26; Rosenthal, Convertitenbilder aus dem 19, Jahrh.,III,I (Schaffhausen, 1869), 194-237; Narrazione storica della prodigiosa apparizione di Maria SSma Immacolata e istantanea conversione alla fede cattolica dell' ebreo Maria Alfonso Ratisbonne, avvenuta in Roma il 20 gennaio 1842, nela chiesa parrocchiale di S. Andrea delle Fratte, de' PP. Minimi di S. Francesco di Paolo (Rome, Vatican Press, 1892).

MICHAEL OTT








Copyright ©1999-2016 e-Catholic2000.com