Our Patron Saints

Recognition Of A Life Well Lived

Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd
Canonical Process of Beatification
A Second Story of Love: Martyrs of WWII




Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd (Frances Siedliska)

In her own lifetime Frances Siedliska was recognised for her deep spirituality, for her loving openness and generous spirit. Consequently, the Canonical Process for the Beatification of Frances Siedliska was initiated by the Holy See soon after her death in 1902. After authenticating a miracle attributed prayerful requests for God’s mercy, through the intercession of Frances Siedliska, she was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 23 April 1989. Several hundred Sisters, together with families, friends and associates of the Sisters, from around the world, were present for this celebration of the life of a woman who has become for many a model of deep and authentic faith and love. Today, Frances Siedliska is also known as Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd.




The Canonical Process of the Beatification

The Canonical Process of the Beatification of Frances Siedliska was initiated by the Holy See soon after her death in 1902.

  • 24 November 1902: the mortal remains of Frances Siedliska were buried at Campo Verano, Italy.
  • 10 December 1920: the cause for the beatification of Frances Siedliska was initiated with the appointment of the first postulator.
  • 28 June 1921: the petition for the initiation of the Ordinary Informative Process was presented to the Vicar of Rome.
  • 1922 – 1928:  The Ordinary Informative process of the cause of beatification was conducted in Rome, Cracow, Paris, Chicago and London.
  • 27 November 1937:  The decree approving the writings of Mother Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd was issued.
  • 4 December 1940, confirmation was given of the introduction of the cause of beatification in the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
  • 1941 – 1946:  The Apostolic process was conducted in Rome, Cracow, Paris and Chicago.
  • 2 March 1952:  The Decree of validity of the Ordinary and Apostolic Processes were issued.
  • 9 July 1953:  The mortal remains of Frances Siedliska were transferred from the cemetery at Campo Verano to the Motherhouse of the Congregation at Via Machiavelli 18 and the canonical identification of the remains and the securing of their preservation was conducted by the Congregation for the Causes of saints.
  • 29 September 1966:  The mortal remains of Frances Siedliska were transferred from Via Machiavelli 18 to the newly constructed Generalate located at Via Nazareth 400.
  • 29 April 1980:  Pope John Paul II proclaimed the heroicity of the virtues of Frances Siedliska.
  • 21 February – 9 June 1986:  The Archdiocesan investigation in Warsaw, Poland, of a cure attributed to the intercession of Frances Siedliska was initiated.
  • 21 November 1986:  The Congregation for the causes of Saints approved the cure as a miracle received through the intercession of Frances Siedliska.
  • 18 November 1987:  This miracle received approval of the medical commission at the Congregation for the Causes for Saints.
  • 1 September 1988:  Pope John Paul II signed the decree of proclamation for the Beatification of Frances Siedliska.
  • 23 April 1989:  During a ceremony held at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Pope John Paul II beatified Frances Siedliska, Mother Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd, Foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, and declared her Blessed.




A Second Story Of Love

Martyrs Of World War II: Sr. Stella And Her Companions

The story of Sr. Stella and her companions is a story of love, faith and sacrifice. In the Jubilee year 2000, Sr. Stella and ten fellow Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth were beatified by Pope John Paul II, and so were given the title of “Blessed”. These eleven Sisters lived together in community in Nowogrodek (now part of Belarus) during the World War II German occupation of Poland and surrounding countries.

The testimony of those who were witnesses to the disappearance of the Sisters from their home in August, 1943 and the discovery of their bodies in a common grave some time later, led to the process for their beatification being initiated and completed in a relatively short period of time. The stories associated with the Sister’s conversations with people of the area in which they lived, after Nazi soldiers had rounded up and imprisoned many family members from the area show the dedication of the Sisters to their faith and to the people whom they served. The Sisters were heard to say on different occasions that they would willingly give their lived in return for the safe return of the fathers, of the town, to their families. The death of the Sisters in the environment in which they found themselves in war-torn Poland was nothing unusual for that time…but the return of the men of the town to their families after the death of the Sisters was exceptional.

 The beatification of the Sisters bears witness to the victory of the power and love of Jesus Christ in the lives of ordinary people. In their openness to remain with the people they committed themselves to serve and in their steadfast dedication to their religious commitment, Sister Stella and her companions have become a sign of challenge and hope for people of the twenty-first century. During the special papal audience after the beatification of Blessed Frances Siedliska in Rome in 1989, Pope John Paul II drew attention to the martyred Sister’s willingness to offer themselves for others, rooted in the spirituality instilled in the Congregation by their Foundress, Blessed Frances Siedliska.

One member of the group was not taken on the night of July 31, 1943. Sr. Malgorzata was away from the convent when the Sisters were taken and executed in the woods about 5 km from their home sometime early on the 1 August. Sr. Malgorzata was instrumental in discovering the fate of her Sisters and continued to live, by choice, in Soviet occupied Nowogrodek for 23 years, ministering to the people of Nowogrodek. Sr Malgorzata died on 26 April, 1966 and her cause for beatification was initiated in Poland in 2004. These twelve Sisters, together, lived and died for the building of God’s Kingdom of Love and for love of their brothers and Sisters in Christ…For this they are remembered and called “Blessed”.

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