The WORD in Other Words by Fr Anthony Salas SVD (Philippines) on the Memorial of Blessed Josepha – May 20
Blessed Josepha Hendrina Stenmans, the co-foundress of the Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit (SSpS), had a deep devotion to the Holy Spirit. The words of Jesus … “the Spirit of Truth, He will guide you to all truth” may have also guided her as she responded to God’s call to bea religious missionary nun.
Trusting that the Holy Spirit would make things clear in God’s own time, Blessed Josepha worked silently with the other women in the Mission House. Her initial motive of joining the mission house of the Society of the Divine Word in Steyl, Holland was to support the work of the mission through her work as a kitchen staff.
It took several years before St. Arnold could be clear about his intention of establishing the first women branch of his mission congregation. During those years of waiting, the Holy Spirit had slowly purified not only the intentions of the founder St. Arnold Janssen but also of themotives of the women, including Bl. Josepha. She surrendered to the will of the father and trusted that Holy Spirit would guide her to all truth.
In the community, she was more into the “practical things” in the runningand managing of the still young sisters’ congregation. Later as a directress of postulants, she was known to be an emphatic listener and a model of humility and deep spiritual life. In the midst of suffering and pain due to her illness, she persevered in her trust in God’s mercy and love.
She died on this day, May 20, 1903. She was beatified on June 29, 2008. Blessed Josepha, pray for us.
– Fr. Anthony Salas, SVD (St. Isidore the Farmer Parish, Loreto, Agusan del Sur)
Source – The WORD in Other Words, Bible Diary 2020