” Jerusalem is the heart of the Congregation”

-Fr. Alphonse Marie Ratisbonne, Nds

9th Nov. 1858
Notre Dame de Sion (Religious of Our Lady of Sion)

His Studies: Fr. Alphonse Ratisbonne,Nds, little is known  of is childhood. We do hear through that he learned Hebrew in order to pray in the biblical language. Not understanding what he was saying, he began to pray in French but soon gave up altogether. On his own admission, Alphonse became Theodore’s most bitter opponent when he learned of  the latter’s baptism in the Catholic faith.

Then only thirteen years old, he treated his older brother with contempt and reproach for having abandoned his Judaism. Fr. Alphonse attended the Royal College in Strasbourg and then another School for the sons of the leading families of the upper and lower Rhine regions. He graduated in law in Paris and spent a year in his Uncle Louis’s bank. Fr. Alphonse’s father had earlier died, leaving his youngest son a large inheritance.

Louis, rich and childless, adopted Alphonse, choosing him in presence to his other four nephews as president of the  Strasbourg bank. Louis reproached Alphonse for one thing only; his frequent trips to Paris. Twenty years later, Alphonse wrote, “My Uncle Louis was right; all I thought about was having a good time and enjoying myself. Business problems made me impatient; the atmosphere of boardrooms suffocated me!”

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



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