Blessed Sr. Ulrika Nisch
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Blessed Sr. Ulrika Nisch

Sr. Ulrika Nisch was born on 18 September 1882 in the village of Mittelbiberach-Oberdorf and was baptized Franziska on the following day. Because of frequent wars the mass lived in extreme poverty, sometimes they had even to forgo ordinary celebrations and ceremonies. It was then that Ulrika was born a year ahead of her parent's marriage. Her grandmother and godmother took care of her in her early childhood and brought her up in a deep religious and loving atmosphere. When Franziska was six years old, her parents took her back to their home at Unterstadion. Being the eldest child she had to support the family as a young girl.

Having completed her basic education, Franziska worked as a maid, at first in Germany and then in Switzerland. She fell seriously ill and was nursed in the hospital run by the Holy Cross Sisters from Ingenbohl. Her treatment at this Hospital proved to be a turning point in her life, as she felt confirmed in her desire to become a nun. On 17 October 1904, Franziska Nisch entered the convent at Hegne, Provincial House of the Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross in Germany. On being admitted to the novitiate she was given the name Ulrika. On 24 April, 1907 she made her First Profession.

Sr. Ulrika started her ministry as an assistant cook in convent Buhl, and later at St. Vincent's Home in Baden-Baden. As a Holy Cross sister Sr. Ulrika Nisch worked for nine years as the assistant kitchen sister. She was constantly inspired by these words: "Totally given to the Crucified, therefore totally given to their neighbour-true witnesses of the love of Christ". Her unassuming life of service remained a hallmark at every stage of her life. The more profoundly she came to know Him, the more was her outpouring love for Him. She wrote, "I want to have a love for all which is everything to everyone and uplifts all".

The Cross of Christ shaped her life. Physically she endured constant headaches; spiritually she had undergone crises of faith - 'the dark night of the soul'. Hard physical work and the life of renunciation gradually sapped her strength. On 15 July, 1912 she fell seriously ill and was admitted in the infirmary of the convent at Hegne. Her last days on earth were a total surrender to God with a great longing for heaven. No one was at her bed-side when she breathed her last. Though they were the last moments of her death, she sent her attendant to support a sick fellow sister. Aged only thirty one, Sr. Ulrika died on 8 May, 1913. Her life has become for many an inspiration, an incentive and an encouragement to follow Christ. Her Love for God knew no measure!

Her beatification process which began in 1951 was accomplished on 1 November, 1987 - on the Feast of All Saints, Pope John Paul II declared Sr. Ulrika as 'Blessed'.