Born in Jerusalem, the Blessed Mother Marie-Alphonsine was inspired by several apparitions of the Virgin Mary to set up the Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Jerusalem in the 1880s – an order dedicated to educating Arab girls. Highly-regarded in Palestinian communities, it continues to be the only Arab religious order in the Holy Land.
Beatification is the final step before sainthood and on November 22, 2009, Mother Marie-Alphonsine was beatified by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Square. Several miracles have been attributed to her including saving a young girl who had fallen into a deep container by throwing her huge rosary. She invoked the Virgin Mary and told the young girl’s classmates to pray the rosary. Shortly after, the young girl was saved.
In fact, Mother Marie-Alphonsine devoted her life to the Virgin Mary and the rosary. It’s even been reported when she died on March 25, 1927, she was praying the rosary with her sister, Sister Hanneh Ghattas, also a member of the order.
Mother Marie-Alphonsine is the second Palestinian nun to be beatified. The first was Carmelite Sister Mariam Bawardi, a member of the Melkite Catholic Church, who was beatified in 1983.