On this day, in 1943, Blessed Maria Klemensa Staszewska, an Ursuline of the Roman Union, died in O?wi?cim (a.k.a. Auschwitz), Ma?opolskie.
Helena Staszewska was born July 30, 1890, in Z?oczew, Wielkopolskie. She entered the Ursuline Convent at Rokiciny Podhala?skie near Rabka, and became Sister Maria Klemensa of Jesus Crucified. By the time the Nazis occupied Poland, she was the superior. She was arrested by the Gestapo in January, 1943 for "sheltering sickly Polish and Jewish children from Warsaw and assisting Jews escaping across the nearby Polish-Slovak border." Sister Maria Klemensa "perished in Auschwitz in July of that year."
--Wartime Rescue of Jews by the Polish Catholic Clergy: The Testimony of Survivors, a pdf edited by Mark Paul, Polish Educational Foundation in North America, Toronto, 2007, page 241. See the Table of Contents to find the Select Bibliography, Religious Orders of Women Who Helped Rescue Jews, and Polish Roman Catholic Priests and Nuns Recognized as "Righteous Among the Nations" by Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Authority.
Blessed Maria Klemensa Staszewska is mentioned in http://www.padrimariani.org/assets/pdf/en/Rosica_Martyrs_Book.pdf>The Marian Martyrs of Rosica: Accounts of the Heroic Witness of Bl. George Kaszyra and Bl. Anthony Leszczewicz, a pdf edited by Rev. Jan Bukowicz, MIC, Marian Press, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 2000, page 26.
Click here to see a picture of Blessed Maria Klemensa Staszewska.
For more about Polish nuns in World War II:
Code Name ?egota: Rescuing Jews in Occupied Poland: 1942-1945, by Irene Tomaszewski and Tecia Werbowski, Praeger 2010.
Your Life is Worth Mine: How Polish Nuns Saved Hundreds of Jewish Children in German-Occupied Poland, 1939-1945, by Ewa Kurek-Lesik, Hippocrene Books, 1997. Appendix I is a List of Women's Religious Orders. Appendix III contains Interviews with Nuns.
Click here for the names of the 108 Blessed Polish Martyrs. They were beatified by Pope John Paul II on June 13, 1999.
Looking for comments?
We've suspended comments on NCRonline.org for a while. If you missed that announcement, learn more about our decision here.