January 07, 2015

⛪ Blessed Marie-Thérèse Haze - Religious

Blessed Marie-Thérèse Haze,
Pray for us !
⛪ Saint of the Day : January 7

⛪ Other Names :
• Giovanna Haze •  Jeanne Haze •  Johanna Haze •  Marie-Thérèse of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

⛪ Born :
• 27 February 1782  Liége, Prince-bishopric of Liège, Holy Roman Empire

⛪ Died :
• 7 January 1876  (aged 93) Liége, Belgium

⛪ Patronage : Daughters of the Cross

Blessed Jeanne Haze (27 February 1782 – 7 January 1876) - in religious Marie-Thérèse of the Sacred Heart of Jesus - was a Belgian Roman Catholic professed religious and the foundress of the Daughters of the Cross. Haze decided to respond to the lack of education in her homeland in the chaos resulting from the French Revolution and made that the focus of her religious apostolate; she served as her order's Superior General from its founding until her death.

Her beatification cause opened in 1911 under Pope Pius X while Pope Pius XII later titled her as Venerable in 1941; Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1991.

She was born Jeanne Haze in Liége, then capital of the Prince-bishopric of Liège, a sovereign state of the Holy Roman Empire. Her father was the secretary to the Prince-bishop who ruled the principality. When the French Revolutionary Army occupied the Low Countries in 1794, the principality was annexed by the First French Republic and the family was forced to flee to Germany. Her father died while they living there in exile, leaving the family in poverty. During that time she developed a strong devotion to the Passion of Christ as epitomized in the symbol of the Cross.

When peace had been established, the family returned to their native city, but their experiences had left Jeanne Haze and her sister, Ferdinande, with a strong empathy to the sufferings of the neediest people of the city. After the death of their mother in 1820, the sisters felt called to enter a religious community, but the anti-monastic laws then in effect under the United Kingdom of the Netherlands prevented that. Instead the sisters decided to follow a religious form of life in their own home, opening a small school in 1824 to support themselves.

In 1829, the local pastor, the Canon Cloes, the Dean of the Collegiate Church of St. Bartholomew, asked their help in educating the young girls of the city, who were suffering from the lack of schooling then widespread as a consequence of the occupation. The sisters accepted the challenge and opened a free school in the home of the curate of the parish, Canon Jean-Guillaume Habets. The declaration of independence leading to the creation of the Kingdom of Belgium allowed the sisters to establish the school formally as a Catholic institution. Soon other young women who wished to enter consecrated life began to join the Haze sisters.

While they taught the children, Jeanne Haze and her sister repeatedly shared their vision of establishing a religious community with Habets, but he would shy away from any discussion of the topic, to the point of avoiding them at times. Nonetheless, in the course of a visit to the school by the Bishop of Liége, Cornelius van Bommel, who was clearly pleased with it, he shared the sisters' aspirations. The bishop approved of this project wholeheartedly and instructed Habets to write the foundational documents for a new religious congregation.

After much consultation with the small community, a Rule of life was drawn up based on that of the Society of Jesus with the Constitutions proper to the new congregation of Religious Sisters. On 8 September 1833, in the Carmelite church next to their school, Jeanne Haze was allowed to profess permanent religious vows, taking the religious name of Mother Marie Thérèse, as was Ferdinande, under the name of Mother Aloysia. Two of their companions professed temporary vows and the remainder of the group began a formal novitiate. Thus the congregation was born, and Mother Marie Thérèse was chosen its first Superior.

The congregation was formally approved by Pope Gregory XVI on 1 October 1845, thereby raised to the status of a congregation of pontifical right. By that time they had grown to 84 Sisters who operated 4 schools, with a total enrollment of about 1,000 girls, 80% of whom were being given a free education. Their Constitutions were approved by Pope Pius IX in 1851.

Under the leadership of Mother Marie Thérèse, the congregation soon began to open other schools and took responsibility for a women's prison, as well as for a shelter for the rehabilitation of prostitutes. Their work quickly branched out to other countries, with the opening of schools in Germany in 1849. This was followed in 1861 by missions to India, then under the British Raj, followed by the establishment of schools in the United Kingdom, starting in 1863.

Mother Marie Thérèse died on 7 January 1876, at the age of 93. By that time, the congregation had grown to 900 Daughters of the Cross, serving in over 50 separate institutions.

The cause for beatification of Mother Marie Thérèse was opened by the Diocese of Liége around 1900. It was approved by Pope Pius X and accepted by the Holy See for further investigations on 13 December 1911. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 21 April 1991.

The decision was made to house the remains of Blessed Marie Thérèse in the chapel of the General Motherhouse of the congregation, and in 1993 work was began to renovate it for this purpose. The restorations, which included the organ, lasted a year, and, on 21 April 1993, the second anniversary of her beatification, her remains were enshrined there for public veneration.

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