Ratisbonne, Alfonso Maria

Ratisbonne, Alfonso Maria head of the Roman Catholic religious Society of Zion, at Jerusalem, was born at Strasburg, of a respectable Jewish family, his father being the president of the Israelitish Consistory. According to the Notizia sulla sua Conversione (Venice, 1842), Ratisbonne owed his conversion to the apparition of the Virgin Mary, which took place at Rome, January 20, 1842, in the Church of San Andrea delle Fratte. He became henceforth the devotee of the Virgin, and desired to bury himself forever in a monastery, and to retain in his own breast the secret of the mysterious vision with which 'he was favored. But he was led to publish what he had seen, for the good of others, and was for some time subsequently the lion of the day. The general of the Jesuits came to visit him, and he was even presented to the pope. In honor of the auspicious event, a three days' annual festival was appointed to be held in the Church of San Andrea delle Fratte. Ratisbonne died May 6, 1884. (B.P.)

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