Mother Mary Lange, the founder of the Oblate Sisters of Providence in 1829, was a woman before her time. She reminds me of the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 1:8). Jeremiah was a prophet who was called by God at a young age. However, the part that struck me most about Jeremiah’s talk with God was that section where God tells Jeremiah that he will be sent to speak to some people who may not want to hear what he had to say. God told Jeremiah this, “Go to the people I send you to, and tell them everything I command you to say. Do not be afraid of them, for I will be with you to protect you. I the Lord have spoken.” Mother Mary Lange came to Baltimore, Maryland, somewhere around 1842. Slavery was flourishing here at that time, so this was not an easy task for this young woman. She encountered all sorts of obstacles, but heeding the voice of God, she carried on. Thus, now in the year of the Lord, the congregation she founded is over 188 years old. How about that for putting your trust in God?
These poems are just another way of honoring this great woman of God who did not allow any obstacle to get in her way, be it clergy, the KKK, politicians, racism, or even slavery. The mark of a Christian, even a martyr, is not deterred by naysayers. Mother Lange and the early Sisters endured a lot from the society that they found themselves in; however, they knew that God was with them, and so they had no fear. Mary Lange followed the advice of God to the prophet Jeremiah, “Do not be afraid, I will be with you to protect you.” Mother Lange knew that she had a mission to accomplish and so took her task seriously and made her mark in history.