The Dignity of Women podcast focuses on reclaiming femininity in the modern age. It challenges feminist viewpoints and the objectification of persons.
The Dignity of Women calls us to higher virtue and nobility of character, so that men must aspire to be worthy of us, and that through Christ, beauty will save the world.
Padre Pio - Matchmaker
Ortrud and Dr. Germain Bianchi have an extraordinary story of being joined together by the famous Italian stigmatist priest, Saint Padre Pio! Ortrud joins me on The Dignity of Women to tell how she came to find her Catholic faith, befriend the saint who would change her life forever, and ultimately how that saint would lead her to her future husband.
Ortrud Bianchi was born in 1945 in Ronsperg, Czech Republic as the youngest of six children. Her family settled in a small town in Germany for a few years until her parents divorced when she was only five years old. Her mother’s difficult life as a divorcee convinced her that she would never marry. Although Ortrud grew up without a religious atmosphere at home, she received religious instruction at school and the sacraments of the Catholic Church.
When Ortrud was a teenager, her maternal grandmother died unexpectedly and her mother traveled to Austria for the funeral, deciding to remain there permanently. There Ortrud's mother returned with fervor to her Catholic faith after the loss of her mother, and began to fast and pray for the return of her six children to the faith as well.
Meanwhile, Ortrud moved in with her oldest sister and brother-in-law in Landshut, Germany to finish her schooling and often visited her mother in Austria on school vacations. She strongly resisted her mother's new mission to convert her however, and even threatened to stop visiting if she kept talking about religion. Although her mother remained silent on the matter, she handed Ortrud a pamphlet with Jesus on the cover as their next visit came to a close. Despite accepting the pamphlet in order to avoid an argument with her mother, Ortrud avoided it until Easter vacation was about to begin. She decided to read one small page of the pamphlet in order to appease her mother at their upcoming visit.
She was home alone when she finally opened the pamphlet from the diary of the Polish nun, Saint Faustina Kowalska, randomly. Jesus' words to Sister Faustina hit her like lightning as He explained that His mercy was greater than any human or angelic mind could fathom and invited every soul, no matter how sinful, to draw close to His merciful heart. Ortrud realized in that moment that Jesus loved her more than she could imagine and was convicted that she didn't want to be indifferent to Him anymore. She was overwhelmed by deep emotions of contrition and felt a force that brought her to her knees as she cried out over and over, “Jesus, from now on, I want to be your friend.”
The next morning was Sunday and to her sister and brother-in-law's great shock, Ortrud woke up early and went alone to church for confession and Mass, never missing another Sunday Mass again!
Meeting Padre Pio
By 1964, Ortrud was living with her mother in Austria. Two years later, the family had planned to meet in Rome for her brother's wedding. When the documents for his wedding disappeared, Ortrud's mother decided to seize the opportunity for the family to use their time together to visit a holy monk named Padre Pio, who had the stigmata and lived near Rome, in San Giovanni Rotondo.
At first, Ortrud was excited to see a saint, but their first experience was Padre Pio’s 5:00 a.m. Mass, in which people were pushing and shoving so much that her brother-in-law lost his shoe, another person’s glasses flew off their face, and people were racing down the middle aisle and jumping over the pews in such a frenzy that it seemed more like a sporting event. When Padre Pio entered the sanctuary, he looked old, weak and sickly. Ortrud felt sorry for him and for the misled people who seemed more devoted to him than to Jesus and Mary. As she watched Padre Pio celebrate Mass, she was disappointed that nothing extraordinary happened, even inside of her.
Two years later, Ortrud made a pilgrimage to the shrine o
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Powerful, inspirational, exactly what we need in today’s world!!
Such a beautiful and powerful podcast. Kim has a clear strong voice and you can’t tell that she has real passion about this topic! Thank you for sharing your gifts with all of us!
Kim does an excellent job bringing in high quality speakers and diving into really important topics!