Spirituality for Today – February 2014 – Volume 18, Issue 7

Saint of the Month
Bl. Maria Caridad Brader

February 27

An illustration of Blessed Maria Caridad BraderBlessed Maria Caridad Brader

Mary Josephine Caroline Brader was born on August 14, 1860 in Kaltbrunn near St. Gallen in Switzerland. She was a pious and smart child. She went to the primary and secondary schools at the institute run by the Franciscan regular tertiaries. Franciscan spirituality and monastic vocation led her to the nunnery. Her mother did not support her decision because, after he husband's death, her daughter was the only close family she had. However, Mary convinced her and in 1880 entered the enclosed Franciscan order (Capuchins) linked with the sisters who ran her school. She took the name Mary Caritas (Caridad in Spanish) of the Love of the Holy Spirit. After eight years together with other sisters from the nunnery she responded to an appeal to take up missionary work, announced by Bishop P. Schumacher from Ecuador. They left under the guidance of prioress Bl. Maria Bernarda Butler to Portoviejo diocese in Ecuador.

They worked in the locality of Chone where they catechized the local population. Five years after their arrival in Latin America the group of nuns started to grow. They could take up work in another place, Túquerres in Columbia.

Sister Caritas was sent there to organize a new foundation. Together with Fr. R. Herbrand she established the Congregation of Franciscan Sisters of Mary Immaculate. She went to the most distant and difficult to access places in the mission. She was tireless and always found time for prayer. From 1893–1919 and 1928–1940 she was prioress general in the congregation she founded. It was approved in 1933.

She did not want to continue as prioress any longer. She felt her life's work was done and she was ready to leave the world.

She died on February 27, 1943 and was beatified on March 23, 2003.

God, You called Bl. Caritas Bradur to contemplate You
in the brothers she served.
Teach us to treat every person in such a way
that in encounters with them
we experience You.
Through Christ our Lord.


From Ordinary People Extraordinary Lives