Blessed Stanislawa Rodzinska

detail of a holy card of Blessed Stanislawa Rodzinska; swiped from Santi e BeatiAlso known as

  • Julia Rodzinska
  • Giulia Rodzinska
  • Mother of Orphans
  • Apostle of the Rosary
  • Sister Maria Julia
  • Mother Maria Julia
  • prisoner P40992

Memorial

Profile

Second of five children born to Michael Rodzinska and Marianna (née Sekuly). Michael was the church organist, led the parish choir and worked at a local bank. They were a poor but pious family, and though Marianna’s family was wealthy, they refused to help. Marianna died when Stanislawa was eight years old, and the family fortunes deteriorated further as Michael had trouble working and caring for the children; he died of pneumonia when Stanislawa was ten. From that point, she and her sister grew up in a Dominican orphanage.

Stanislawa loved the Dominican Sisters so much that she joined them in 1916 in Tarnobrzegu-Wielowsi, Poland, taking the name Sister Maria Juliana and made her profession on 5 August 1924. She served as an exceptional and much loved teacher at Dominican orphanages for 22 years. Superior of the Dominican house in Vilnius, Lithuania in 1934, and ran the orphanage; she became known as the Mother of Orphans for her tireless care of the children, and as an Apostle of the Rosary. She was awarded by the secular government of Vilnius for her work.

However, the government seized the school and orphange, took over running both, and dissolved the monastery; the now homeless and unemployed Dominican sisters where taken in by some local Vincentian sisters. Mother Maria Julia and her sisters tried to support themselves doing odd jobs, but the Nazis invaded, the economy tanked, and the Church effectively went into hiding. Clergy, monks and sisters were arrested, imprisoned or executed, teaching Polish culture was made illegal, so everything about Mother Julia was now against the laws of the invaders. She continued to covertly teach children catechism and regular school studies, and worked to keep elderly priests from starving after they were kicked out into the streets by the Nazis.

Mother Julia was arrested by the Gestapo on 12 July 1943 for her work, and was imprisoned for a year in solitary confinement in a cement cell in the Lukiškes Prison in central Vilnius; it was too small and cramped for her to stretch out. She did not break, however, and continued doing her spiritual exercises. In July 1944 she was loaded into a cattle car and shipped to the Stutthof concentration camp where she was tortured, starved and abused; she responded by forming prayer groups and shared what food she received. She contracted a fatal case of typhus while nursing infected Jewish female prisoners. Martyr.

Born

Died

Venerated

Beatified

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Stanislawa Rodzinska“. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 February 2017. Web. 27 March 2017. <>