Saturday, October 11, 2008

Blessed Angela Truszkowska

Today we honour extraordinary woman who submitted to God's will throughout her life—a life filled with pain and suffering.

Angela was the eldest daughter of Joseph and Josephine Truszkowski, Polish nobles. Well educated, pious, and lively youth with a frail constitution. Moved to Warsaw in 1837, and attended the Academy of Madame Guerin. Due to respiratory illness, she and her tutor Anastasia moved to Switzerland in 1841 at age 16. On 26 June 1848, at age 23, she had a moment of extraordinary grace that she considered a conversion experience, and which led her to the religious life. She became spiritual daughter of Capuchin Father Honorat Kozminski in 1854. Joined the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in 1855 to help the poor, aged and homeless of Warsaw. Housed homeless children into her own home. In November 1854, she and her cousin Clothilde rented a two-room apartment at 10 Church Street, Nowe Miasto, in Warsaw, Poland. There homeless children spent their days in class and Mass, and then stayed the night; it was known as the Institute of Miss Truszkowska. Sophia prayed with the children at the Shrine of Saint Felix of Cantalice in a nearby Capuchin church. People call the kids the "children of Saint Felix" and the women the Sisters of Saint Felix, the Felicians. Thus was founded the Felician Sisters who are devoted to service to the poor, orphaned, sick and elderly. Mother Angela served as superior of the new Order for many years until ill health forced her to resign at the age of 44. She watched the order grow and expand, including missions to the United States among the sons and daughters of Polish immigrants.

Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1993.