Mother Czacka became blind at a young age and then spent the rest of her life ministering to blind people in Poland.
Róża Czacka was born on October 22, 1876, to a noble Polish family, having the official title of countess. She was highly educated at a young age, but then an accident radically changed the rest of her life.
Czacka fell off a horse at the age of 22 and became instantly blind. Doctors were consulted, but it soon became apparent that nothing could be done.
However, the doctor gave Czacka a new mission.
He said to her, “You have the education. Take care of the blind people in the region, because no one does.”
This gave her a renewed purpose and instead of despairing of her blindness, she turned it into an opportunity.
For 10 years Czacka traveled all over Europe to discover new ways of ministering to the blind. She returned with the knowledge she acquired and established the Society for the Care of the Blind in 1911.
In 1918 she felt called by God to pursue this mission of hers in the context of a religious life and became Mother Elżbieta and founded the Franciscan Sisters, Servants of the Cross.
Her work helped countless of blind people in Poland and throughout Europe. She survived World War II, becoming a vital aid to the Polish Underground movement.
She died on May 15, 1961, after a brief fight with cancer.
Her heroic example became an inspiration to many, leading-up to her beatification on September 12, 2021.