Join Fr Z in prayer to the martyred nuns of Nowogródek

I am moved to post this.

It is as if I was dragged for some reason back to my keyboard tonight, after having tried to turn in. A couple of clicks – you know how one thing leads to another – and suddenly I was staring at exactly what I knew I was supposed to be looking at, something I had not know about.

A striking image of nuns being martyred at the hands of soldiers by an open grave.

Blessed M. Stella and her Ten Companions, the The Martyrs of Nowogródek, in Nazi occupied Poland in 1943.  Now Belarus.  They were beatified by St. Pope John Paul II in 2000.  They were Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth.

Their story is powerful. Wiki HERE, more HERE. These sisters had heard that Jews in the village had been taken to be killed. They prayed and offered themselves to God in exchange. The Jews were sent to work camps. The Gestapo then went for the local priest. Again the sisters prayed, saying, “There is a greater need for a priest on this earth than for us. We pray that God will take us in his place, if sacrifice of life is needed.”

Their prayers were answered.

How very small I felt as I read that.

One of the sisters survived, at the command of her superior, in lay guise.   She found her sister’s grave and marked a tree.  Years later she was free to tell her story. HERE

I just learned that there is a house of those sisters not too far to the south of me, in Des Plaines, IL (Chicago).  They look at bit modernized, alas.   Alas, they are LCWR members.  I hope that they will be blessed with some young vocations who have traditional religious aspirations and longevity.

Why, I wonder, was I dragged to learn of these beautiful martyrs tonight, of all nights, the Martyrs of Nowogródek?

I will, tonight at least, ask these blessed sisters to intercede before God for that #UniteTheClans idea that Michael Matt had some time ago, and which I fully endorsed and desire, even as I see an attack on myself on Twitter from one of the very people I pray will relent.

My day began by writing on that initiative.  So, I suppose I should round out my day with that same thought, but hand it over, for tonight, to the Eleven Martyred Sisters of Nowogródek.  I am minded of the Sixteen Carmelites of Compiègne martyred in 1794.  “Mother, permission to die?”  The Terror ended right after their martyrdom.

During his sermon for the beatification of the Eleven, John Paul II said: “Where did these women find the strength to give themselves in exchange for the lives of imprisoned residents of Nowogródek? From where did they draw the courage to accept calmly the death sentence that was so cruel and unjust?” HERE

Our battle for the Church in these troubled time, The Present Crisis, has to be fought on many levels.

What might not be wrought through the intercession of these Eleven Sisters?

The artwork for the Beatification image painted by Jerzy Kumala (1998).

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.
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2 Responses to Join Fr Z in prayer to the martyred nuns of Nowogródek

  1. That painting of the Sister Martyrs is outstanding. One of the rare modern pieces which is truly art at its highest exaltation…


  2. JabbaPapa says:

    I have been given a very strange and wonderful 55th Birthday present from God, though truth is He gave it to me in 1994, and it’s just taken me this long to work it out. (I’m slow)

    I’ve been thinking since that time, since the personal revelation that he gave me, which is no less and no more than the simple orthodoxy of the Faith — as it is.

    The Lord be praised for that blessing.

    But for the first time in years I’ve understood something more from that revelation, and it’s something that the Church has been struggling with for over a thousand years ; and yet it’s fundamentally so simple.

    It concerns the Diaconate, and both the Deacons and the Deaconesses.

    There may be one single Diaconate — BUT : the vocation of the Deacons is through Ordination ; the vocation of the Deaconesses through Consecration. That is the fundamental and yet complementary difference between the two, not any “equality” political gibberish.

    There was, and therefore is, a clear ontological difference between Deacons and Deaconesses — which has been lost, in the willful confusion of two separate vocations having only certain prime basics in common.


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