Spirituality for Today – December 2010 – Volume 15, Issue 5

Saint of the Month
Bl. Martha of Jesus, December 19

An image of Martha of JesusBl. Martha of Jesus

Kazimiera Wolowska was born on October 12, 1879 to a landowning intelligentsia family. When she was 13, her mother died. Her father ensured her the best possible education, employing private teachers. Kazimiera had religion classes with the rector of the Lublin seminary, Fr. Antoni Noizewski. Being a very sensitive and religious person, Kazimiera wished to devote herself to monastic life. In order to share with others the knowledge she obtained thanks to her father's love, she chose the Congregation of Sisters of Immaculate Conception in Jazlowiec. She professed her solemn vows in 1909 and took the name Martha of Jesus. She worked in her congregation's centers in Maciejow, Wirow and Slonim, Poland. She organized schools, shelters and orphanages.

For 20 years Sister Martha worked with Catholic, Uniate and Eastern Orthodox children, attempting to ensure them a proper education. Owing to her efforts, a teaching school was founded in Maciejow along with a vocational school. She won the hearts of residents of Volhvoia with her energy and understanding for different religious beliefs.

In August 1939, Martha of Jesus became the prioress of the congregation in Slonim. During the war she helped everyone who knocked on the nunnery door. Jews persecuted by the Germans would especially find shelter in the nunnery. Sister Martha was supported in this by her former's teacher's daughter, Bogumila Noiszewska, or Sister Eve of Providence. Both were arrested by the Gestapo and executed on December 19, 1942. Witnesses confirmed that before her death, Sister Martha forgave her murderers.

From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives