08/01/2022 – Feast of Martyrs of Nowogrodek

Today is the feast of the Martyrs of Nowogrodek, eleven Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth.

Nowogrodek was then in Poland Their charism was to bring the love of the Holy Family into families. They did this through their work of teaching in the local schools and offering practical help to local families. Some of the most important, but also the most dangerous work, under the Bolsheviks, was catechising and bringing prayer, especially the rosary into the heart of the family.

When Nowogrodek was taken by the Nazis. Many of the men were imprisoned. The sisters gave all the help they could to their families. But as time went by the orphaned families became destitute and it looked like the men would be killed and never return. The sisters, understanding that Jesus’ life in the Holy Family Nazareth was a preparation for the Cross, that the Joyful mysteries must lead to the Sorrowful, made a decision to pray:

“O God…if sacrifice`of life is needed, accept it from us who are free from family obligations. Spare those who have wives and children”One night soon after, with no warning the Nazi came to the convent, arresting all but one nun. She was probably left because she worked as a nurse.

The nuns prayed the rosary as they were lined up by the edge of a pit and shot. Shortly after the men returned to the village not one was lost.The nursing nun, suffered a white martyrdom and has also since been beatified.

Courtesy of 1 in 10 Rosary Mission Ireland