The congregation of Sisters of Mary of the Miraculous Medal (Krankenjungfrauen or Nursing Sisters of Saint Vincent de Paul) were founded in 1878 in Ljubljana, Slovenia but traces its roots to the 1852 when Sister Leopoldine de Brandis, D.C. (1815-1900), became the first visitatrix (provincial superior) of the of the Daughters of Charity province of Graz. In 1855, the Daughters of Charity were no longer able to care for the sick in their homes since they had begun working in the local hospital. The sisters understood that Vincent de Paul had forbidden his Daughters to minister at night in the patients’ homes and therefore in 1878 Brandis established a lay association of nurses (Krankenjungfrauen) to collaborate in this manner with the Daughters of Charity in their ministry. It developed into the Marienschwestern, an institute of women religious named the Sisters of Mary of the Miraculous Medal.
Their mission was to visit and tend the sick who were suffering and dying at home, lonely and abandoned, because of lack of resources. It spread to several countries. The Ljubljana foundation branch became a diocesan institute in 1926 and has as its mission to imitate Jesus and Mary, servants of the Lord by a total gift of self, serving the poor and sick in their homes. Because of World War I (and new political and provincial boundaries), this foundation became distinct in 1919 from its Graz branch (established in 1880) and which in 1964 united with the Daughters of Charity, Paris. Its rules are in the spirit of Saint Vincent de Paul. It obtained autonomous status in 1940.
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