- Sára Schalkház
Second of three children born to Leopold and Klotild Salkahaz, hotel owners. Her father died when Sara was two. Her brother described her as “a tomboy with a strong will and a mind of her own; when it came to play she would always join the boys in their games or tug of war”. She began writing plays as a teenager, and at the same time developed a deep prayer life. She received a degree and taught elementary school for a year, but gave it up to work as a bookbinder. She began writing again, and was active in the Hungarian literary world. Journalist. Member of the leadership of the National Christian Socialist Party of Czechoslovakia, and editor of the Party newspaper.
Sara was engaged to be married, but broke it off when she realized a call to a different life. Joined the Sisters of Social Service in 1929, making her vows in 1930. Worked at the Catholic Charities Office in Kosice, Slovakia. Supervised charity efforts, taught religion, lectured, continued to write, and she organized groups of lay women to help with the Church‘s social work. Organized a national Catholic Women’s Association. Sara worked herself to complete exhaustion; seeing this, her supervisors refused to allow her to take her final vows in the Sisters. However, Sara lived the rest of her life with self-imposed restrictions as though she had taken vows.
In 1941 she was assigned to be national director of the Hungarian Catholic Working Women’s Movement which had about 10,000 members across the country, and edited its magazine. Wrote against Nazism. She continued her social work with the poor and the displaced, and started hostels to provide safe housing for working single women, and as a place to hide Jews and others being sought by the Nazis. Started vocational schools, leadership classes for working lay people, and retreat centers for them. On 27 December 1944 Nazis surround the Working Women’s Hostel, 4 Bokréta-Street, Budapest, looking for Jews. When Sára arrived, she immediately introduced herself as being in charge of the house. She and five others were taken by the Nazis to the Danube, stripped naked, and murdered; the Sisters saved more than 1,000 people.
- shot on 27 December 1944 by members of the Arrow Cross Party on the banks of the River Danube in Budapest, Hungary
- body thrown into the Danube
- 17 September 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI at Budapest, Hungary
- first non-aristocrat Hungarian to be beatified
Sara Salkahazi heroically exercised her love of humanity stemming from her Christian faith. This is for what she gave her life. – Cardinal Peter Erdo, celebrant of the beatification mass for Blessed Sara, 17 September 2006
I am grateful to you for the love you have given me. My dear Jesus, I place this love into your hands: keep it chaste and bless it so that it may always be rooted in You. And increase in me my love for You. I know that if I love You, I can never get lost. If I want to be yours with all my heart, you will never let me stray from You. – Blessed Sara in her spiritual diary
To love, even when it is difficult, even when my heart has complaints, when, I feel rejected! Yes, this is what God wants! I will try; I want to start – even if I would fail – until I will be able to love. The Lord God gives me grace, and I have to work with that grace. – Blessed Sara in her spiritual diary
I want to follow you wherever you take me, freely, willingly, joyfully. Break my will! Let your will reign in me! I do not want to make my own plans. Let your will be done in me and through me. No matter how hard it might be, I want to love Your will! I want to be one with You, my Beloved, my Spouse. – Blessed Sara in her spiritual diary
- “Blessed Sára Salkaházi“. CatholicSaints.Info. 20 April 2015. Web. 21 January 2017. <>