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Congregations of the Precious Blood
A congregation of nuns, no longer in existence, founded by Mother Ballou with the assistance of St. Francis de Sales, as an offshoot of the reformed Cistercianesses.
The Daughters of the Precious Blood were founded by Maria Seraphina Spiehermans at Sittard, Holland, 1862, and approved by a Decree of Leo XIII, 12 July, 1890. Their main object is the education of girls, and the care of the sick. They wear a red girdle, and on a red ribbon a cross with the initials F. P. S. (Filia Pretiosi Sanguinis-daughter of the Precious Blood). Leo XIII appointed Cardinal Mazzella as their cardinal protector. The mother-house is in Koningbosch, Diocese of Roermond. They assist especially the Missionary Fathers of the Holy Ghost in German East Africa. As yet they have made no foundation in the United States.
Ulrich F. Mueller.
A congregation of nuns established 14 September, 1861, by Right Rev. Joseph La Rocque, then Bishop of St. Hyacinthe (Prov. Quebec, Canada), with the co-operation of Mgr. J. S. Raymond, then superior of the seminary of St. Hyacinthe. The foundress, Mere Catherine- Aurelie du Precieux Sang, commonly called Mere Caouette or Mother Catherine, died, 6 July, 1905, at the mother-house in St. Hyacinthe, of which she was then superioress. The object of the institution is two-fold: the glorification of the Precious Blood, and the salvation of souls. "To adore, to repair, to suffer", is the watch-word given to the sisters by the foundress. She was joined by Sister Euphrasie de Joseph, her cousin, Sister Sophie de l'Incarnation, niece of Monsignor Raymond, and Sister Elizabeth de l'Immaculee Conception, a convert. The constitutions of the institute were approved by Leo XIII, 20 October, 1896. The order is contemplative, and the sisters maintain perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The Office is recited daily: on Thursday, the Office of the Blessed Sacrament, which is also chanted when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed; every first Sunday of the month, and during the Forty-Hours devotion, which by a special privilege of Pius IX is held four times yearly. On Saturday the Office of the Blessed Virgin is said, and on all other days that of the Precious Blood. Matins and Lauds are recited at midnight. The institute is governed by the mother superior, aided by her councillors, and in certain cases by the chapter of the community. The councillors and the mother superior are elected for a term of five years. Houses are independent of one another in government, recruiting, and training their members. The novitiate lasts two years. The choir and lay sisters make perpetual vows; the tourières (out-sisters) pronounce their vows for a year only, being allowed to renew them afterwards on the Feast of the Precious Blood. The choir sisters dress in white, with a red scapular and cincture on which are painted in white the instruments of the Passion; for Communion, and before the Blessed Sacrament when exposed, they wear a white mantle. Hence their popular name, "the white nuns". The lay sisters have the same costume, but the dress is black. The costume of the tourières is all black, as their functions call them out of the cloister. The institute subsists on alms and on the work of some of the sisters, who make everything requisite for the service of the altar, and other pious articles. The institute also directs the Confraternity and the Guard of Honour of the Precious Blood, and spiritual retreats for ladies.
From the mother-house at St. Hyacinthe have sprung many branches: Toronto (Ontario, Canada), 1867; Montreal (Quebec, Canada), 1874; Ottawa (Canada), 1887; Three Rivers (Quebec, Canada), 1889; Brooklyn (New York), 1890; Portland (Oregon), 1891; Sherbrooke (Quebec, Canada), 1895; Nicolet (Quebec, Canada), 1896; Manchester (N.H.), 1898; Havana (Cuba), 1902; Levis (Quebec, Canada), 1906; and Joliette (Quebec, Canada), 1907.
IV. SISTERS OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD
A congregation of nuns founded at Gurtweil, Baden. In 1857 Rev. Herman Kessler, the pastor, who had long desired to establish a home for destitute children and a normal school for the training of religious teachers, asked for six members of the community of the Sisters of the Precious Blood from Ottmarsheim, Alsace. They responded and began their work with twelve poor children under the direction of Father Kessler. Under the auspices of Archbishop von Vicari of Freiburg, a novitiate and normal school were established; the latter was affiliated with the educational department of Karlsruhe. Other schools and academies were opened. In 1869 Bishop Junker of Alton, Ill., asked for sisters for his diocese. In 1870 a number of sisters sailed for Belle Prairie (now Piopolis) in the Diocese of Alton. Meantime Bishop Baltes succeeded Bishop Junker; he entrusted to them several parochial school and promised further assistance on condition that the community should establish itself permanently in his diocese subject to his authority. Mother Augustine, superior of the mother-house at Gurtweil, apprehended a premature separation from Gurtweil, and was also opposed to limiting the sisters' activity to one diocese only. She went to St. Louis where through the efforts of Father Muehlsiepen, Vicar- General of St. Louis, the Sisters of the Precious Blood were received into the Archdiocese of St. Louis (1872) and obtained charge of a number of schools in Missouri and Nebraska. In 1873 the Kulturkampf had reached its climax and the entire community was expelled; some went to Rome, others settled in Bosnia, Hungary, while the greater number joined their sisters in America. A mother-house was established in O'Fallon, St. Charles County, Mo., completed in 1875. News arrived that Mother Clementine, mistress of novices, with a few professed sisters and the entire novitiate had resolved to follow the dictates of Bishop Baltes and establish a mother-house in his diocese. Consequently a new novitiate was begun in O'Fallon. The novitiate of Mother Clementine's branch was established at Ruma in 1876. They conduct schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, the Dioceses of Alton, Belleville, Oklahoma, St. Joseph, and Wichita. They number (1911): professed sisters, 230; novices, 20; candidates, 30; schools, 51; orphans, 150; pupils, 49,430. The O'Fallon community was incorporated (1878) under the laws of the State of Missouri with the right of succession, under the legal title of St. Mary's Institute of O'Fallon, Mo. The sisters conduct schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and in the Dioceses of Alton, Kansas City, Lincoln, and Omaha. They number (1911): professed sisters, 179; novices, 17; candidates, 11; academy, 1; schools, 20; pupils, 2943.
Ulrich F. Mueller.
Founded in the canton of Grisons, Switzerland, in 1833, by Maria Anna Brunner, and her son Rev. Francis de Sales Brunner (q.v.). They were inspired to the undertaking by a visit to Rome, during which they were much impressed by the devotion to the Most Precious Blood as practised by the congregation of [Saint] Gaspare del Bufalo. The rule was founded on that of St. Benedict and approved by the Bishop of Chur, the object of the community being the adoration of the Most Precious Blood and the education of youth, including the care of orphans and homeless or destitute girls. The sisters became affiliated with the Society of Priests of the Precious Blood, of which Father Brunner was a member, and on his being sent to America to establish his congregation there he enabled the sisters also to make a foundation, first at St. Alphonsus, near Norwalk, and permanently at New Riegel, Ohio. In 1886 Archbishop Elder found it advisable to revise the rule drawn up by Father Brunner in order to adapt it to altered conditions, and this revision, besides extending the time of adoration through the day as well as the night, increased the teaching force of the community, who were thus enabled to take charge of a larger number of parochial schools. In this year, also, the sisters were separated from the society of priests, with which it had hitherto been affiliated, and made a separate congregation with a superior general under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Cincinnati. The present mother-house is at Maria Stein, Ohio. They conduct schools in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, and in the Dioceses of Cleveland, Ft. Wayne, Kansas City, Nashville, St. Joseph, and Tucson. The statistics for 1911 are: professed sisters, 592; novices, 48; postulants, 26; pupils, 6954.
HEIMBUCHER, Die Orden u. Kongregationen der kathol. Kirche, III (Paderborn, 1908), 399, 476.
SISTER MARY VICTORIA