Sister Marie Adolphine, a Franciscan missionary in China
Marie Adolphine (1866-1900) was a Dutch Roman Catholic sister who was murdered in China during the Boxer Rebellion, an anti-imperialistic uprising between 1899 and 1901.
Sister Marie Adolphine was born as Catharina (Kate) Dierkx in Ossendrecht. At the age of 27 she joined the Congregation of the Sisters Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. In 1899 she leaves together with six other sisters for China to work on a mission station in the province of Chansi, despite the rebellion and aggression against foreigners, including Christian missionaries.
In July, 1900 Boxer gangs reached the mission station. All missionaries were murdered.
In 1951 Adolphine’s former birthplace was converted into a memorial chapel, the Adolphine Chapel. Her beatification was pronounced by the pope in 1946 and in 2000 she was canonized. Her feast day is on a Sunday near July, 8.
In Ossendrecht is, since 1948, every year in July a procession held that attracts visitors from Ossendrecht and beyond, including Sisters Franciscan from the Netherlands and Belgium. Starting point is the Adolphine Chapel.
© photos: Bea and Dick Hoeks-De Laat, 2007