- Caritas Brader
- Karolina Brader Zahner
- Maria Josefa Carolina Brader
- Mary Charity of the Love of the Holy Spirit
- Mary Josephine Caroline
- María Caridad of the Holy Spirit
- María Charitas of the Holy Spirit
- Mother Caritas
The only child of Joseph Sebastian Brader and Maria Anna Carolina Zahner. Raised in a pious family, she was known as a highly intelligent child, and received the best education her parents could provide. There were high expectations for the girl’s future, but instead of continued study she felt a call to the religious life. Mary Josephine joined the Franciscan convent at Maria Hilf, Alstatten 1 October 1880, taking the name Mary Charity of the Love of the Holy Spirit, and making her final vows on 22 August 1882.
She was initially assigned as a teacher. When it became possible for cloistered nuns to work as missionaries, Sister Caritas volunteered to be one of the first six sisters to work in Chone, Ecuador in 1888. She worked for five years as a teacher and children‘s catechist. In 1893 she was transferred to Tùquerres, Colombia where conditions were rough but where she taught the faith to the poor and outcast.
To prepare additional missionaries she founded the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary Immaculate in Tuquerres, Colombia on 31 March 1893. Initially composes of young Swiss girls with a call to missionary work, they were soon joined by Colombian and other local women. Caritas served as Superior General for the Congregation from 1893 to 1919, and again from 1928 to 1940. The Sisters emphasized good education for themselves and their charges, and deep prayer lives for everyone. They received papal approval in 1933, and today work in Central and South America, Mexico, Switzerland, Mali, Romania and the United States.
- 14 August 1860 in Kaltbrunn, Switzerland as Maria Josefa Carolina Brader at Kaltbrunn, Saint Gallen, Switzerland
- 27 February 1943 in Pasto, Colombia of natural causes
- her grave immediately became a site for pilgrimage and popular devotion
It is His will – Blessed Caritas
The better educated, the greater the skills the educator possesses, the more she will be able to do for our holy religion and the glory of God, especially when virtue is the vanguard of her knowledge. The more intense and visible her external activity, the deeper and more fervent her interior life must be. – Blessed Caritas
- “Blessed Maria Caridad Brader“. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 April 2015. Web. 29 April 2016. <>