Venerable Bernarda Heimgartner

Venerable Bernarda HeimgartnerAlso known as

  • Maria Anna Heimgartner
  • Mother Bernarda Heimgartner


Her father died when Maria Anna was 14. From 1838 to 1840 she worked as a children‘s nurse in Baden, Aargau, Switzerland. In 1840, feeling the call to religious life, she began studies with the Capuchinesses in Baden, then in 1841 began three years of study with the Ursulines in Freiburg, Germany, and in Breisgau, Germany; a desire to be a teacher took firm hold. She made her first religious profession in Altdorf, Switzerland on 16 October 1844, taking the name Bernarda, and the next day moved to Menzingen, Canton Zug, Switzerland, which would become the base for her life’s work. There with the help of two other religious sisters she founded her first school; by the time of her death, she had opened 59 schools and homes. Co-founded of the Sisters of the Holy Cross of Menzingen, she served as its mother superior until her health began to fail. She led her congregation during a time when convents were considered by many to be a threat to public safety as they did not answer to the state, and were suspected of affiliation with the banned Jesuits.





Even if we have no property, no sources of support, let us rely even more trustfully in God who up to now showed himself so kind and loving towards us. Venerable Bernarda Heimgartner

We did not allow ourselves to be discouraged but placed all our trust in God. Venerable Bernarda Heimgartner

Just as in worldly business there is so much courage and daring enterprise, we should allow God’s Providence to overcome all our discouragement and fears in the spiritual spheres. Venerable Bernarda Heimgartner

We thank God in our hearts to have been called for the education of the young. Venerable Bernarda Heimgartner

Be brave, and every day begin anew to love God. Leave the worry of your school in the hands of the good Lord. Do what you can, give glory to God, be humble and ask for His blessing, without which our labours will bear no fruit. Venerable Bernarda Heimgartner

Our fountain of life is Divine Providence. Venerable Bernarda Heimgartner

MLA Citation

  • “Venerable Bernarda Heimgartner“. CatholicSaints.Info. 16 April 2015. Web. 22 September 2021. <>