Tag Archives: Congregation of Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth

Blessed Stella and companions, Martyrs of Nowogródek

Blessed Stella CSFNO most blessed Trinity, we praise and thank you for the example of Blessed Mary Stella and her 10 Companions, Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, who by imitating Jesus Christ, offered themselves as a sacrifice of love.

God of mercy and compassion, through the merits of their martyrdom and by their intercession, grant us the grace we humbly ask… (insert intention here) …so that like them, we may witness with our lives to the presence of the Kingdom of God’s love and extend it to the human family throughout the world. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Blessed Martyred Sisters of Nowogródek, pray for us.

 

This 2011 icon is in the spiritual treasure of Father Michael Bechard, a priest of the Diocese of London, Ontario.

Blessed Martyrs of Nowogrodek, the 70th anniversary of their murder

Martyrs of NowogrodekA group of eleven Sisters of he Holy Family of Nazareth  were murdered by the Nazis in exchange for 120 condemned citizens of Nowogródek, current day Belarus.

Sister Stella and her companions were murdered on this date, 1 August 1943 by the Gestapo in Novogródek, Hrodzyenskaya voblasts’, Belarus.

Invited by the bishop of the area to come serve the Church in the village of Novogródek in 1929, the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth were well received by the people.

Tensions ran high with the Nazi occupation. When it became clear that the sacrifice of life was imminent, the Sisters in conversation with their chaplain, Father Zienkiewicz, said, “My God, if sacrifice if life is needed, accept it from us and spare those who have families. We are even praying for this intention.”

Blessed John Paul beatified the sisters on 5 March 2000.

The Blessed Martyrs are stilled remembered with devotion.

Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd (Frances Siedliska)

Bl Maria Franciszka Siedliska.jpg

The great foundress of the Congregation of Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth is liturgically remembered today. As she lay dying Mother Mary of Jesus spoke the word charity in five languages. One of the many reasons why I like Mother Foundress is her strong sense that “An interior life is essential for the active life.”
On July 4, 1885 the Nazareth Sisters arrived in the New York Harbor and eventually landed in Chicago where they made their first foundation in the USA. For 125 years they have served the Church in a variety of ministries, namely education, pastoral ministry in parishes, hospitals and and orphanages.
Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd’s liturgical prayers are here.

Blessed Frances Siedliska (Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd)

FranciszkaSiedliska.jpgCome bride of Christ, and receive the crown, which the Lord has prepared for you for ever.

O God, You gave Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd the charism to model her life upon the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth; grant us the grace to imitate her and to inspire Christian families with the desire to lead a life worthy of their vocation for Your greater glory and for the extension of Your kingdom on earth.
The vocation of a professed sister of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth (CSFN) is to live the Trinitarian life of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in perfect love. The point of this blog, I might add with enthusiasm. Mother Foundress described the vocation of the sisters as following the hidden life of the Holy Family of Nazareth wherein the love reigned in relationship with God and neighbor. More concretely, Blessed Frances designed this congregation of sisters to live a life of prayer, community living and ministry; the work of the sisters is to witness the life of the Holy Family in the human families of today through the renewal of life known in moral and religious renewal. As a graduate of a CSFN school, I am happy that there is a liturgical memorial to praise God through the intercession of a great Beatus.
I’ve mentioned the sisters before on this blog (and here, too) and recommend the order to young women.

Blessed Sisters of Nowogródek: Blessed Stella & companions

O most blessed Trinity, we praise and thank you for the example of Blessed Mary Stella and her ten companions, Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, who by imitating Jesus Christ, offered themselves as a
sacrifice of love.

God of mercy and compassion, through the merits of their martyrdom and by their intercession, grant us the grace we humbly ask… (insert intention here) …so that like them, we may witness with our lives to the presence of the Kingdom of God’s love and extend it to the human family throughout the world. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Blessed Martyred Sisters of Nowogródek, pray for us.

 

Blessed Mary Stella and her companions were authentic martyrs for the faith: they “…paid with their blood for the charity they exercised in favor of escapees, of the wounded and the sick during the terrible and uncertain days” (His Will Alone, 424).

They had engaged life as any other person does and so I thinking giving the names of the sisters keeps memory of the women, our friends, alive in our hearts. Certainly as a kid in a Nazareth school (New Haven, CT) this image of the sisters was haunting and striking. On my desk sits the commemorative coin, a gift of Sister Thaddeus of Jesus, CSFN, with the faces and names of the sisters reminding me of the gift their lives are for us.

The eleven Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth who were executed by the Nazis on August 1, 1943 were:

Sister Maria Stella, Superior (Adelaide Mardosiewicz) (1888-1943)

Sister Mary Imelda (Jadwiga Zak) (1892-1943)

Sister Mary Rajmunda (Anna Kukulowicz) (1892-1943)

Sister Maria Daniela (Eleanor Juzwik) (1895-1943)

Sister Maria Kanuta (Jozefa Chrobot) (1896-1943)

Sister Maria Gwidona (Helena Cierpka) (1900-1943)

Sister Maria Sergia (Julia Rapieg) (1900-1943)

Sister Maria Kanizja (Eugenia Mackiewicz) (1904-1943)

Sister Maria Felicyta (Paulina Borowik) (1905-1943)

Sister Maria Heliodora (Leokadia Matustzewska) (1906-1943)

Sister Maria Boromea (Veronika Narmuntowicz) (1916-1943)

The Sisters had these words in their hearts and on their lips as they gave witness to Christ and the Church: “O God, if sacrifice of life is needed, accept it from us who are free from family obligations.
Spare those who have wives and children.”

And so we pray that Blessed Mary Stella and companions intercede for us before the the Throne of Grace for us, for the Nazareth Congregation of Sisters (especially for Sister Mary Ellen Genova) and for Poland.

N.B. In many places the martyrs of Nowogródek are remembered liturgically on the day their death, August 1st. In the convents of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth today is the liturgical memorial is prayed at Mass and in the Divine Office.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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