Niedziela, 19 listopada 2017 r.
    
        Founders/Servant of God F. M. Witkowska  
Sł. B. M. Witkowska

Mary Witkowska came from a noble family. She was born on the 19 of January 1866 in Wardomicze (today Republic of Belarus) in the borysowski district, in the province of Minsk, in the parish Chotajewicze, in the Archdiocese of Mogilev. The childhood and youth days she spent in Stare Siolo near Minsk, in the family house where there was an atmosphere of respect for polish and catholic values where, she received a good upbringing and a religious education. The first Holy Communion she received in the church of All Saints in Vilno. In 1883, she received the sacrament of confirmation from Bishop Carol Hryniewiecki in the church of St. John in Vilno. In that time Fr. Vincenty Kluczynski had great influence on her spiritual growth.

At the age of twenty one, according to the wishes of her spiritual director bl. Fr. Honorat Kozminski, she organized in 1887 a hidden Congregation of the Sisters of the Most Holy Name of Jesus under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians. She worked on the statutes, she influenced the spirituality of the Congregation, and she accompanied the young sisters in their spiritual growth and opened new convents.

vShe organized apostolic activity among women involved in the sewing industry, aiming towards religious and moral renewal of this social group. Mother Maryla wanted to bring them closely to Jesus and in the same way, to show them the value of Christian work performed in the spirit of the Gospel. For the sick, abandoned and elderly needle women, she opened up in 1893 in Warsaw a Shelter. In this charity project she was involved with her whole heart. Being ill herself with tuberculosis and often exhausted, she tirelessly asked for support from rich people to support these women to meet all their needs.

In March 1893, mother Mary Francis Witkowska took her perpetual vows. In the same year, seeing the persecution of the Church in the Russian zone and in the sixth anniversary of the existence of the Congregation on the 10th of December she offered her life for the freedom and increase of the Church in the whole world. It was a heroic act and God shortly received her sacrifice. It was her great desire that this offering of the whole Congregation for the freedom and growth of the Church would be a main intention which would penetrate everything, and then every sister takes such an act together with her final vows.

In 1894, she set out to Rome in order to introduce documentation to obtain from Apostolic See approval of the Congregation. Severe illness of her lungs hindered her meetings with the Holy Father to finalize the issue of the Congregation. She only managed to obtain permission to open the first chapel in the general house of the Congregation.

Mother Francis belonged to the chosen souls who take new paths, and who are courageous and persistent and who are decisive and able to sacrifice everything for God. In the battle for holiness, which was only a one aim of her life and in the service of fellow man she drew light and strength from unceasing prayer especially from adoration. There was no division in her life for prayer and work but her life was a life of constant prayer, as she herself expressed it in the words: "I desire, that my life is constantly of the cross…. I want to belong to God without division, unconditionally! Follow Him with faith and without fear". She had a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and great reverence to the Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians, to whom together with sisters she gave herself into her motherly care.

She lived short a life, and throughout eight years she led the Congregation and in that time she opened up eight convents together with workshops in the polish zone as well as in the Russian zone. In the time of her death they were already one hundred sisters. By her life she has given explicit examples of the love of God and neighbour, and an example of a heroic trust in Jesus Christ, full of zeal for the Glory of God, example of obedience and humility as well as a splendid example of concealed life.

She died on the 26th of October 1895 in Otwock and in the opinion of many people she had lived a life of sainthood. She was buried in Powazki cemetery in Warsaw. After her death it has been said, that it was a flame of love and zeal for the glory of God that burnt out like a lamp for the love of God hidden in the Blessed Sacrament. On the day of the 12th October 1996 the process of beatification on the diocesan level was started and then was finished on the 6th of August 2001. Currently the process is on the way in the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome.

Modlitwa za przyczyną Sł. Bożej Marii Witkowskiej

Wszechmogący i nieskończenie dobry Boże, który wezwałeś Matkę Marię Franciszkę do służby swojej w Zgromadzeniu Sióstr Imienia Jezus, uczyniłeś ją wielką czcicielką Najświętszego Sakramentu i przyjąłeś jej ofiarę z życia za wolność i podwyższenie świętej Matki Kościoła, racz za jej wstawiennictwem udzielić mi łaski ..., o którą Cię błagam z miłością i pokorą.

Nagródź wierność i gorliwość służebnicy Twojej wysłuchując próśb, które za jej przyczyną do Ciebie zanoszę. Przez Chrystusa, Pana naszego. Amen.



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