Religious Sister and Martyr (1913-1944)
+ Katarzyna (Katharine) was born in Zabzez, Poland. Orphaned at age five, she was raised by relatives before entering the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate in 1930.
+ Known in religious life as “Sister Celestyna,” she professed perpetual vows in 1930, and worked as a catechist and kindergarten teacher.
+ During the Second World War, she ran an orphanage, served as a local superior for her community, and continued her work as a catechist.
+ In 1942, she was charged as taking part in a conspiracy against the Nazis and she was arrested on February 19.
+ Sent to two concentration camps before arriving in Auschwitz, where she was put to work digging ditches. There, she contracted tuberculosis and typhoid and she died from complications of these diseases on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1944.
+ Honored as a martyr, Blessed Katarzyna Fanon was beatified in 1999.
“Blessed are those who suffer persecution for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”—Matthew 5:10
O God, who gladden us today with the annual commemoration of blessed Katarzyna, graciously grant that we may be helped by her merits, just as our lives are lit up by the splendor of her example of chastity and fortitude. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Martyrs: Common of Martyrs—For a Virgin-Martyr)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.