Novogrudok is a little old city from the XI century in west Belarus with a population of only 29 thousand people.
Since moving to live in Australia, I can also say it was a big privilege to live and work in Novogrudok.
I could pray, serve, walk in this holy place. One might wonder why?
75 years ago, during the Second World War, our 11 Sisters offered their lives for those who were arrested and to be executed by the German soldiers. Each of the Sisters had a special story and a very special life. I could not say one sister was more holy then other. Each of them was special. Each of them could say to God: “Yes, I am ready to sacrifice my life, for those who have families…” On the 1st August 1943 at 5:00 am, the Sisters were killed in the bush near Novogrudok.
For me personally the story of Sister M. Kanuta of Jesus in the Garden (Josephine Chrobot) is very touching. She was 25 years old and she had her own plan for life. She planned to get married, become a mother. She did not think about religious life as an option for her. She had a fiancé. However, one night she heard in her dream “Josephine, do not marry Stanislaus, because your Bridegroom is waiting for you in Grodno. He will give you a red dress for your wedding present…” Back then, she did not understand the meaning of this dream, but she knew that Jesus have a special plan for her. Eventually, she entered our Congregation, but “where is my wedding present – a red dress?” – She thought many times.
The morning of 1st August 1943, she was not killed, she was only wounded. She huddled in the corner of the grave. She was in a kneeling position. Her habit was red, drenched in blood. Jesus fulfilled his promise.
“They went to die that we can live…”
Sr Paula Volchek
See more: Blessed Martyrs of Nowogrodek