Blessed Elzbieta Róza Czacka

Blessed Elzbieta Róza CzackaMemorial

Profile

The youngest of four children in an aristocratic family who moved from a small town in Ukraine to Warsaw, Poland in 1882. Rosa received a good secular and religious education even as her eyesight deteriorated; in 1898, at age 22, she was completely blind. She spent a lot of time in prayer and in discerning a vocation, and began devoting herself to helping and teaching the blind. In 1909, she and several like-minded friends and co-workers founded a group to start a shelter and school for blind girls to help them live fuller lives on their own.

In 1915 she returned to the Ukraine for the First Communion of a family member – and was stuck there for three years as the escalation of World War I kept her from returning to Warsaw. There she learned of Franciscan spirituality, and in 1916 became a Franciscan tertiary, taking the name Elzbieta.

Returning to Warsaw in 1918, she resumed her work with the neglected blind, and formalized the group of co-workers into the Franciscan Sisters Servants of the Cross, which would receive formal approval in 1922. A supported gave her land in Laski, Poland where she built an institute and school for the blind, and the motherhouse of the Sisters. She received support from Pope Pius XI in 1937, during World War II the Institute was converted to a hospital and the Sisters served as nurses.

This did not last; the Institute was destroyed, and the Sisters returned to Warsaw where Mother Elzbieta was injured in a bombing of the city. The sisters worked to support the Polish partisans against the Nazis, and Elzbieta worked with Blessed Stefan Wyszyński.

When the war ended, the Sisters returned to their primary mission, and Mother Elzbieta continued to lead them until 1947 when, at age 70, she retired from leadership. She suffered a stroke in 1948 and her health slowly declined, but she spent her remaining 13 years in prayer, contemplation and any service she could provide.

Born

Died

  • 15 May 1961 in Laski, Poland after several years of complications from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1948

Venerated

Beatified

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Elzbieta Róza Czacka“. CatholicSaints.Info. 1 November 2021. Web. 1 December 2021. <>