Maria Alphonse Ratisbonne

Catholic priest, visionary and missionary. Born in 1814 in Strasbourg, Alsace-Lorraine; died in 1884 at Ain Karim, near Jerusalem. Born Jewish, by 1842 he had completely lost his faith. He was converted to Catholicism by a miraculous apparition of the Blessed Virgin at the church of San Andrea delle Fratte at Rome, Italy. He assisted his brother Theodor in founding a sisterhood of Our Lady of Sion in 1843. Ordained as a priest in 1847. He transplanted the Sisters of Sion to Jerusalem in 1855, built convents and orphanages for them, and worked as a missionary in the region the rest of his life.

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