Fr. Theodosius Florentini

Fr. Theodosius Florentini (Anton Crispin) was born in 1808 in Munstar a Valley of Canton Graubunden in Switzerland. There was religious and socio-political upheaval with a widening rift between the haves and have not’s. Father Theodosius was determined to face this turbulent time. He began his active life and committed his best potentialities to this task. At the age of 21, he completed his studies in preparation for ordination. Being a man of strong convictions and deep rooted religious values he was entrusted with major responsibilities in the church as well as in his order.
Fr. Theodosius with deep trust in divine providence ventured in to the unknown, the uncertain though at times he met with failures. He was a man of far vision. He broke with the monastic concept of religious life limited to within the walls, to embrace an apostolic religious life based on a social concern and involvement, in necessary things unity, in thoughtful ones freedom, in all things love - became his life's guiding principle.
The poor and the suffering had a special place in the life of the founder. To allevia their miseries, he spent his life and energy working relentlessly establishing factories and other business enterprises thus providing work for the poor. The Motto: “The need of the time is the will of God” drove his life and activity. He was a popular preacher, and eloquent speaker, a well read person, a man hungry and passionate for new ideas. He was a friend of all people of all denominations.
In 1856 he founded the congregation of The Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross together with Mother Maria Theresa Scherer and did his best. Both worked together hand in hand in elevating the sufferings of the people.

M. Maria Theresa Scherer

Mother Maria Theresa Scherer (Katherine Scherer) was born and brought up in Meggen - Switzerland. On 1st March 1845 Katherine joined the three young women at Menzingen to work with Father Theodosius. Trusting in the providence of the Lord she took up various activities.
She was sent for teaching when she did not have training. Yet she came to be acclaimed: A born teacher.



Fr. Theodosius observed in her remarkable powers of mind and heart - leader par excellence. She was put in charge of the sisters community at the age of 21. In those days of natural calamities at Naefels, she was sent in lay dress to work in the poorhouse. The hard work, discouragements, opposition, disorder, loneliness would have driven ordinary person out of her ways. But she stood stead fast, trusting in God and continued her Mission as a valiant woman.

Carefulness and willingness to put up with every hard situation had been a remarkable character of Mother Maria Theresa. She cared for the sick, supervised the hospital building and was responsible for the formation of the young members who joined the order.
The untimely death of Fr. Theodosius in 1865 left Mother Theresa alone at the helm of 39 with debts far too many crowding about her demanding huge amount. She took up the responsibility of paying off all the debts. She seemed to have been born to take up risks and shoulder responsibilities with a marvelous grace and charm.
Mother Maria Theresa was a well-balanced person who was exact yet tolerant, firm and pliable, active and calm. In dealing with people her courtesy and tact was remarkable. Love of God was her one passion and from it sprang the love of people.
Together with her sisters Mother Teresa brought a fresh impulse into the social life of the nation. The leaven is still active. Around the globe the Sisters of Maria Theresa, living through their charism, reach out to the various sections of each society, diffusing the values and proclaiming the message of Christ our liberator.