About Jesus Mary Joseph


06-03- 1779 to 31-10-1857

06-03- 1779 to 31-10-1857


Rev. Fr. Mathias Wolff was born in a simple family of Mathias Wolff and Anna Marie Zenner, on March 6, 1779 in Diekirch, Luxembourg in Europe at the end of the 18th century at the time of French revolution.Though he had a strong desire to be a Jesuit, it was impossible due to the suppression of the Jesuit order from 1773 onwards.

He was ordained as a diocesan priest in 1802 and devoted hislife in priestly work in different parishes.When the Jesuit Order was restored, he did a year of Novitiate under the Jesuits in Belgium in 1815 thus becoming Fr. Mathias Wolff S.J. He knew that he was surrendering himself for 'Ad Majorem Deum Gloria' – i.e. for the greater honour and glory of God, totally dedicating himself to God in the service of others.In 1816 Mathias Wolff ended his novitiate in Belgium. Together with his fellow novice, priest like him, he received his mission:, the mission in the Netherlands. In 1816 on his arrival in Holland he sensed a crying need for Catholic schools. Fully aware of the prevailing political conditions, his vision and mission were focused on the education of the Catholics, so that they could have an equal footing with others in public life.

Fr. de Hasque and Fr. Mathias Wolff took charge of the parish of Culemborg, which had been administered by the Jesuits ever since the 17th century, but had no longer any priest since the death of the last Jesuit in 1815. Both priests' saw as their first task; bringing to life the slumbering or disappeared religiousness, building up the parish of the Culemborg.July 1822, his Provincial appointed him the Superior of the Dutch Jesuit Stations; For the Culemborg parish priest already overloaded with work, this was a small gratuitous extra burden! But Fr. Mathias Wolff humbly accepted the responsibility in obedience. Under the given circumstances Wolff was the ideal leader of the Dutch Jesuit Stations.

During French revolution the existing convents, the women religious had been practically unknown. Within the framework of the emancipation of the Church in the Netherlands, Fr. Wolff perceived the need for a sister congregation to assist him in the education of the girls in his mission – a mission which would be carried beyond the boundaries of the tiny Netherlands. Very soon, God had pooled the potential of a few young girls with that of Fr. Mathias Wolff and constructed the international Rocket – 'The Society of Jesus Mary Joseph' on 29th July 1822 at Amersfoort which was known as 'The Association of Women for Christian Education' to the outside world. In June 1923 Fr. Wolff obtained the first ecclesiastical approval for his foundation.

During the course of revival Fr. Mathias Wolff responded with his sharp intellect to see the signs of times - the education of girls. In order to meet this demand, Fr. Mathias Wolff started the Society with three young girls, under different secular names in the beginning, as the socio, political atmosphere was not favorable towards religious. It was called as association of Miss Van Werkhoven, Pedagogie Christienne (Christian Education), later the congregation was also known as "Sisters of the Blessed virgin Mary" and eventually the "Society of Jesus Mary Joseph".

In course of time, many young, elegant, and enthusiastic candidates joined the Society, and started promoting education and religion in the Netherlands. Fr. Mathias Wolff guided them at every step. He insisted very much on obedience – on doing the will of the Father. Great importance was set on having intimate intercourse with Jesus through which,the soul finds an easy access to 'prayer and work'. His often repeated statement 'I want to work for God, like a giant," kept ringing in their hearts. His untiring toil in instructing the little children, listening to confessions preaching the word of God, organizing retreats, made tremendous impact on the minds and hearts of the sisters.

On 28th October 1857 he went to bed not to get up any more. He died three days later at 10.00 in the morning just as he had lived, full of trust in God's Mercy, as he had wished. On a Saturday, the day on which his heavenly Mother is especially honoured, his immolation was complete when he breathed his last on October 31, 1857 at the age of 78, bequeathing his spirit to the Society.

1779 : Born on March 6th in Luxemburg
1802 : Ordination - Diocesan priest
1815 : Novice in Jesuit novitiate in Belgium
1816 : Ordination - Jesuit Priest
1819 : Missionary in Culemborg
1822 : Superior of the Jesuits of the Dutch Mission.
1822 : Founded the Society of JMJ on July 29th
1857 : Died on 31st October in Culemborg