Mary Magdalen Bentivoglio
Mary Magdalen Bentivoglio, O.S.C. (born 1834, Italy – died 1905) founded the first monastery of her Order in the United States. She was a member of the Poor Clares of the Primitive Observance who came from the Monastery of San Damiano in Assisi, founded by St. Clare and still following her Rule. Mother Ignatius Hayes, O.S.F., an English foundress of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception in Minnesota, sought to have a contemplative presence as part of her foundation. To this end she went to Italy to enlist members of the cloistered Franciscan Second Order and approached the ecclesiastical authorities with this proposal. The Minister General of the Friars Minor gave his blessing and sought the permission of the Holy See to allow some nuns of the Order to leave their cloister in order to travel to America for this. With her sister Constanza, also a Poor Clare nun, Bentivoglio were chosen in 1875 to go to the United States by Pope Pius IX, with Mary Magdalen being named as abbess of the new foundation. Mother Ignatius arranged their passage to America and they set sail for New York.