During his Sunday Angelus of 12 June, Pope Francis paid tribute to 10 Polish nuns who were killed in hatred of the faith by Soviet soldiers in 1945. The 10 Elizabethan sisters took care of the elderly, the sick, and children, and remained faithful to their vow of chastity and to their vocation.
The Holy Father said:
“Although they were aware of the risks they were taking, these women religious remained alongside the elderly and sick people they were looking after. May their example of faith to Christ help us all, especially Christians who are persecuted in various parts of the world, to bear witness to the Gospel courageously.”
Their beatification took place on 11 June in the Cathedral in the Polish city of Wrocław. The Mass was presided over by the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Marcello Semeraro.
Cardinal Semeraro stressed that the martyrdom of the 10 Elizabethan sisters brings to mind the violence, cruelty, and hatred that now afflict Ukraine. He noted that gestures of selfless love and concern for others build peace and are a response to the violence that occurs in the face of war.
In the face of ongoing war, the Cardinal encouraged fervent prayer through the intercession of the new blessed.
“We ask the Lord through their intercession that the world may never again lack respect for womanhood and the protection of motherhood. We commend to them in a special way the Ukrainian people, migrants and our quest for peace.”