” God does not not communicate the Godhead except through light which is the expression of Life and Truth”

 Testimony of Fr. Alphonse Marie Ratisbonne, Nds

20th January 1842

Notre Dame de Sion (Religious of Our Lady of Sion)

An Unexpected Visit to Rome: Once in Rome, Alphonse decided to visit the ancient city. While sight-seeing, he meet, by chance, a stransbourg classmate, Gustave de Bussierre, an ardent Protestant. The latter introduced him to his older brother, Baron Theodore de Bussierre, a recent convert to Catholicism. Alphonse was not very keen to see the Baron because the latter was friendly with his own brother,Theodore.

However, he accepted the introduction, hoping to get some valuable information for his return journey. Earlier, Theodore de Bussierre had visited the Near East and had published an account of his travels there.

A week later, on 15th January, Alphonse paid a courtesy call on the Baron. After the formal introductions, he gave Alphonse a Miraculous Medal of Our Lady and asked him to wear it. Astonished at first by this “strange childishness”, Alphonse gave a flippant reply. Then, with a certain irony, he accepted, seeing it as a kind of game, quite in accordance with his love of jokes. “I shall wear it to show my good nature and to prove to you that Jews are not stubborn as people say!” he replied. Theodore de Bussierre then asked Alphonse to recite a prayer, the Memorare, to Mary. Again he acquiesced, believing it would provide an amusing item for his travel diary.


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“Baron Theodore de Bussierre” Marie-ThĂ©odore Renouard, vicomte de Bussierre (18 juin 1802, Strasbourg – 21 janvier 1865, château de Reichshoffen) est un diplomate, voyageur, ethnologue et homme de lettres français.

*Texts in italics, taken from Congregational Journals and Writings, edited by Sr. Marie Carmelle, Nds



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