St. Regina Protman
Founder of the Sisters of St. Catherine of Alexandria.
Roman martyrology: In the city of Braunsberg, in Prussia, Blessed Regina Protmann, a virgin, full of love for the poor, generously gave herself to their service, founding the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Catherine of Alexandria (1613).
Beatification date: June 13, 1999 by Pope John Paul II.
"Do not flee from the world, but instead confront, engage and embrace it, constantly. Service to the needy and sick humanity shall have precedent over any formal regulation." --First rule of Bl. Regina Protmann
Regina Protmann was born in 1552 in Braunsberg, Warmia, today's Braniewo, Poland.
At the age of nineteen she informed her parents that she would not be marrying, as they had intended she should. Instead, she left her family and moved into a house with two other young women with the intention of living a religious life and going out to nurse the sick in their homes. Soon other women joined the little congregation, and by 1602 they received papal approbation.
In addition to her pioneer work in community health, Mother Regina established schools for girls, another unusual endeavor for the time and place. The congregation grew, and today the sisters work in Belarus, Brazil, Finland, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Togo.
Mother Regina Protmann died on January 18, 1613. She was beatified in 1999 by Pope John Paul II.