Martyr nuns beatified in Poland

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As we beatify 10 Polish nuns killed by Russian soldiers at the end of World War II, it is hard not to think of the suffering endured by the Ukrainian people today and the need for peace in the world,” said Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints.

Presiding over the beatification Mass in Wroclaw, Poland, on June 11, Cardinal Semeraro said the nuns, who belonged to the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Elizabeth, gave themselves “to the service of the sick, the little ones, the poor and the most needy. until their martyrdom.

Ten Polish nuns murdered by Russian soldiers at the end of World War II were beatified in Wroclaw, Poland on June 11, 2022. Pictured clockwise are sisters Maria Paschalis Jahn, Melusja, Edelburgis Kubitzki, Adel Schramm, Adelheidis Töpfer, Acutina Goldberg, Felicitas Ellmerer, Rosaria Schilling, Sabina Thienel and Sapientia Heymann. (CNS Photo/courtesy Congregation of the Sisters of St. Elizabeth)

“We ask the Lord, through their intercession, that the world never again lack respect for womanhood, for the equal dignity of men and women and for the protection of motherhood,” said the cardinal. “Today we pay special tribute to the people of Ukraine, to migrants and to our quest for peace.”

Pope Francis also remembered the 10 nuns during his Angelus address on Sunday, June 12.

The pope hailed the example of the martyred nuns who “stayed by the side of the old and sick” despite the atrocities committed against Christians by the Soviet army.

“May their example of fidelity to Christ help us all, especially persecuted Christians in various parts of the world, to bear witness courageously to the Gospel,” the pope told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Founded in Nysa in 1810, the Congregation of St. Elizabeth was one of many religious orders that faced the brutality of the Soviet army during its victorious 1944-45 sweep through Poland, which had already lost a fifth of its population, including most of its Jewish minority. , during six years of Nazi occupation.

According to a June 11 statement from the Polish bishops’ conference, about 100 members of St. Elizabeth’s died at the hands of the Red Army after World War II.

The members of the congregation, present in 19 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America, work in hospitals, schools and parishes and manage community centers, orphanages and residential establishments. ‘education.

The Polish Episcopal Conference has declared that the liturgical commemoration of the 10 martyred nuns will be celebrated annually by the church on May 11.

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