Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, a giant of 20th-century Catholicism, will be beatified on Sept. 12.
But the Primate of Poland who heroically resisted communism is not the only figure who will be raised to the altars that day in Warsaw.
Wyszyński will be beatified alongside a nun who is little known outside her native Poland: Mother Elżbieta Róża Czacka.
How did Czacka, who died in 1961 after a lifetime of quiet service to blind people, come to share a beatification ceremony with Poland’s “Primate of the Millennium”?
To answer that question, CNA spoke with Sr. Angelica Jose, F.S.C., whose life was deeply influenced by the woman known to Poles as Matka Czacka (Mother Czacka).
As a student, she came across a brochure produced by the religious congregation Czacka founded and was touched by a photo of Czacka with a blind boy.
“Being fascinated by the charism of the congregation — service for the physically and spiritually blind — I stopped my studies at Poznań University of Life Sciences and entered the congregation,” Sr. Angelica Jose recalled.
She continued: “What delights me about Mother Czacka is her tremendous passion for life for God — in service of the blind. Her courage in accepting suffering and realism in life. And her trust in God’s Providence.”
Róża Czacka was born on Oct. 22, 1876, in Bila Tserkva, a city once located in the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and known as Biała Cerkiew but situated today in central Ukraine.
The sixth of seven children, she moved with her aristocratic family to Warsaw, where the young countess learned to play the piano, ride horses, and speak English, German, and French.
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