Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Maria Katharina Kasper (1820-1898), Gründerin der Genossenschaft "Arme Dienstmä;gde Jesu Christi":Ein Beitrag Zur Pastoralgeschichte Des 19. Jahrhunderts

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Maria Katharina Kasper (1820-1898), Gründerin der Genossenschaft "Arme Dienstmä;gde Jesu Christi":Ein Beitrag Zur Pastoralgeschichte Des 19. Jahrhunderts

Article excerpt

Maria Katharina Kasper (1820-1898), Gründerin der Genossenschaft "Arme Dienstmä;gde Jesu Christi":Ein Beitrag zur Pastoralgeschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts. By Renate Maier. [Europäische Hochschulschriften, Reihe XXDl, Theologie, Bd. 894.] (Frankfurt-am-Main: Peter Lang. 2009- Pp482. $111.95 paperback. ISBN 978-3-631-59395-0.)

It seems at times as though the biographies of nineteenth-century religious figures are as fixed as those of early-medieval saints. St. Maria Katharina Kasper came from a poor family in a small village. She suffered from ill health all her life, which was nevertheless of a respectable length. She underwent a number of trials, but was encouraged by several visions promising success. In the end, she was honored and successful in her spiritual endeavors.

This work is a dissertation for the faculty of the PhilosophischTheologische Hochschule Sankt Georgen in Frankfurt-am-Main, where it was directed by Michael Sievernich, SJ. The work consists of an introduction, three main sections, a conclusion, and extensive appendices. The first major section (pp. 23-136) consists of three chapters on the life of Kasper. The narrative is chapter 1 ; chapter 2 is an extensive collection of source materials; and chapter 3 covers the canonization process. Section 2 (pp. 127-230) discusses Kasper's order, the religious foundation known as the Poor Servants of Jesus Christ, again in three chapters- origins, establishments, and visitations. Section 3 (pp. 231-358) considers the relationships and spirituality of Kasper, with chapters on her connections to persons and movements, her spirituality as documented in her writings, and her relationship to the traditions of the Church. Finally, there is the interesting conclusion (pp. 359-62) "Die Bedeutung Kathartina Kaspers für die Gegenwart." Extensive appendices follow of the correspondence of the founder; constitutions of the foundation; unedited letters; official documents; and lists of sources, persons, members of the order, locations of houses, and places mentioned.

Kasper was born in the small village of Dernbach, part of the Archdiocese of Trier until it was included in the new Diocese of Limburg (the diocese covered the territory of the Duchy of Nassau, which was absorbed into the Kingdom of Prussia in 1866). …

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