MAJOR SUPERIORS / MOTHERS WHO HAVE SERVED IN HOLLAND – F. S.S A. HEADQUATERS

  1. MOTHER JOHANNA OF JESUS-FOUNDRESS 1575-1648

Mother Johanna of Jesus is the foundress of the congregation of penitent Recollectines. She was born in 1575 and joined the third Order Regular of St. Francis of Assisi, in a Belgian community called Hospitalizes, whose apostolate was to care for the sick.

She became convinced that the life of the sisters during her time needed to be reformed through penance, meditation and prayer. These three were to be the main task of the sisters. She also felt that to do this, the sisters must be enclosed. Since her thoughts were not acceptable to most of the sisters, she decided to form her own Congregation with new constitutions, with the help of a reformed Capuchin priest- Fr. Marchant.

Her reformed Rule was approved by Pope Urbanius VIII in 1624. Her sisters wore brown habit and dedicated their life to prayer as well as caring for a small number of girls in Boarding school. Her reform was based on four pillars: Purity of heart, Poverty of Spirit Mutual Love and mortification of the body.

The sisters were called Penitent Recollectines, and lived in a small Belgian town called Limburg. Mother Johanna wrote her Charism and Rule after many years of contemplation on the spirit she inherited from her spiritual Father, St. Francis of Assisi. She was known for her steadfast character, straight forwardness and simplicity. She was a person of prayer and meditation. The Holy Eucharist and devotion to Mary Mother of Jesus were the center of her life. She admired the simplicity of the early Christians, and promoted their simplicity in her community. She said; ‘they were one in heart’. Read More