Martyred Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – (d. 1942)
+ Kazimiera Wołowska was born in Lublin, Poland, in 1879, and Bogumiła Noiszewska was born in Osaniszki, Lithuania, in 1885. As young women, they entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Kazimiera became known as Sister Maria Marta of Jesus and Bogumiła received the religious name Sister Maria Eva of Providence.
+ Together with other sisters from their congregation, they dedicated their lives to caring for children in shelters, orphanages, and schools organized by their community.
+ The year 1939 found both sisters serving in the parish in Słonim, Belarus. With the help of their pastor, Father Adam Sztark, S.J., they began sheltering Jewish children in the convent, helping them escape certain death at the hands of the Nazis.
+ On December 19, 1942, these two sisters, along with Father Sztark, were arrested by the Gestapo and immediately executed. Sisters Maria Marta and Maria Eva were beatified in 1999 with 106 other Polish martyrs of the Second World War. The cause for the beatification of Father Sztark is being promoted by the Society of Jesus.
Today the Church honors the memory of Pope Saint Anastaius I. Little is known about this early pope, but he is particularly remembered for his involvement in the controversies surrounding the writings of Origen. A friend of Saint Augustine of Hippo, Saint Jerome, and Saint Paulinus of Nola, he died in 402 after serving as bishop of Rome for 3 years.
“Today we are celebrating the victory of those who, in our time, gave their lives for Christ, in order to possess life forever in his glory.”—Pope Saint John Paul II at the beatification of the 108 Martyrs of Poland
in our weakness your power reaches perfection.
You gave Blesseds Maria Eva and Maria Marta the strength
to defeat the power of sin and evil.
May we who celebrate their glory share in their triumph.
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.
(Prayer from Liturgy of the Hours: Common of Several Martyrs—For Holy Women)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.