A unique feature of the story of St. Gabriel’s is the fact that the first concrete suggestion and invitation to found it came from a prelate whom the Church has now beatified, Blessed Bernard Lichtenberg. Mother Mary Michael had already thought of Berlin as a place to found an adoration chapel and convent. She wanted perpetual adoration and atonement to be offered there to our Eucharistic Lord and unceasing petition for the return of our separated brethren to the true fold in her native land. When Msgr. Lichtenberg returned from the International Eucharistic Congress in Chicago, he was determined to invite our Congregation to the capital. He and Mother Mary Michael finally met, and of all places, in a waiting car sent to meet them at the train station in Venlo, Holland. Mother was returning from a trip, and Bl. Bernard was on his way to see her. After his overnight stay in Steyl, the firm resolution had been made to plan for a convent in Berlin. The joy on both sides was great. During her final illness in 1934, Mother Mary Michael negotiated for the property. It was her last official transaction before her death on February 25, 1934.
The cornerstone was laid on November 28, 1934. At Bl. Bernard’s suggestion, the chapel is dedicated to the Annunciation and the convent to the angel of the Annunciation, St. Gabriel. Its foundation date was March 24, 1936. During World War II, the Sisters could remain in the convent during the terrific bombardment of Berlin. They would seek shelter in the basement. The nightly visits of bombers, the repeated crash of incendiary bombs into the house, even by day, the sinister shooting, the infernal noise and sound of air raid alarms became their daily fare. The whole house shook under the powerful blasts. Toward the end, over thirty wounded people were given refuge on one of the floors and the Red Cross flag was raised, which granted the Sisters some protection. When the warfare ended abruptly in Berlin on May 2, 1945, they could not thank God enough for having preserved them through its deprivations and horrors.
All these years, the Sisters have gratefully continued their apostolate of perpetual adoration and intercession for the many needs of the Church and the world, both near and far. Many people and groups join them and find their strength in silent communion with our Lord in the Eucharist or in joining the community in liturgical prayer and praise.
Anbetungskloster St. Gabriel
Tel: (0049) 30-3042128
Fax: (0049) 30-30810836
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