Sr Maria Malgorzata Banas, Servant of God

Ludwika Banas was born on April 10, 1896, near Wadowice in Poland. She worked with the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Wadowice before entering the congregation shortly before her 21st birthday, receiving the name Malgorzata. When she professed her final vows, as is custom in our Congregation, Sr Malgorzata added to her name the mystery of the Heart of Jesus in Agony in the Garden.

In 1934, Sister was assigned to the convent in Nowogrodek, where she worked in the local hospital. She was ministering in Nowogrodek when, on July 31, 1943, the Gestapo ordered Sr Stella and all her sisters to report to police headquarters. As the Sisters made their way they met Sr Malgorzata who, dressed in lay clothes, was returning from work at the hospital. Sr Stella told her to return to the hospital and take care of the priest and the Fara, the parish chuch. They never saw each other again, for the following day Sr Malgorzata’s eleven Sisters were taken to the woods, shot and buried.

With the help of the local townspeople, Sr Malgorzata discovered the Sisters’ grave in the woods and committed herself to its care and protection until the bodies of the Sisters could be brought to the Fara for a proper burial. During the Communist period, Sister lived in the Fara’s sacristy and continued to prepare children for the sacraments. When the parish priest went into hiding for his own safety, Sr Malgorzata maintained the presence of the Blessed Sacrament in the church and helped keep the faith of the townspeople alive.

Sr Malgorzata died on April 26, 1966. Her cause for Beatification as a spiritual martyr began on February 19, 2003.