June 13th - Blessed Alice Kotowska
- From: "Waldtraud" <richarra@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 13 Jun 2009 10:46:05 -0500
June 13th - Blessed Alice Kotowska
Mary Jadwiga Kotowska was born in Warsaw, Poland, on November 20, 1899.
Poland is a notably Catholic country, and for many Poles religion and
patriotism are inseparable. Mary Kotowska was one of those people. War
dominated her life until 1919 when the Treaty of Versailles acknowledged
Polish independence. During the closing months of the war, 18-year-old Mary
Kotowska had shown her devotion to the Polish homeland by joining the
Organized Polish Army, serving in the trenches as a medic. With peace
achieved, the patriotic laywoman studied medicine and devoted her medical
skill especially to the casualties of the Polish-Bolshevik War. The Polish
government later awarded Mary the decoration "Poland Restored" for her
compassion and bravery.
By the time she was 22, Mary Kotowska felt called to commit herself more
fully to the needs of the people. She wrote the superior general of the
Sisters of the Resurrection asking to be received into membership. "I desire
to live and die for Christ," she said, "loving Him above all, since He is
the Greatest Love, Lord, God and my All." The offer was accepted, and Mary
Jadwiga Kotowska became Sister Alice.
As a young teaching nun, Sister Alice was soon chosen to direct high school
education and serve as convent superior in Wejherowo. She proved very
capable in both tasks. Particularly convinced of the need for prayer as
reinforcement for teaching, she herself spent hours before the Holy
Eucharist and promoted Eucharistic devotion among both her fellow nuns and
Poland lost its independence once more with the outbreak of World War II.
The Nazis invaded Poland, reaching Wejherowo on September 9, 1939.
When Sister Alice learned the Germans were drawing near Wejherowo, she and
'Francis,' the convent custodian, buried their most precious liturgical
vessels in the convent garden to prevent their desecration by the Gestapo.
Francis, however, was actually a spy for the Germans, and within a few days
the Gestapo led by Francis unearthed and desecrated the holy vessels,
warning Sister Alice she would be next.
One of the occupying army's first steps was to establish a "black list" of
Polish leaders. Sister Alice was singled out because of her former
connection to the organized Polish Army as a nurse and because she was a
teacher. To the Gestapo she was a leader, and their policy was to replace
leaders with nonentities.
On Oct. 24, 1939, the sisters' prayer in the chapel was interrupted by
shouts and banging on the front door. Sister Alice knew it was time. Without
flinching, she bowed reverently before the altar and calmly walked to the
door, taking time to turn and say, "I forgive Francis for everything."
While she was, imprisoned, guards took pleasure in tormenting her, often
waking her by shining bright searchlights on her face. On Nov. 11, a number
of trucks carrying shovels were lined up at the prison gates. Then the
soldiers led rows of prisoners from their cells to the truck area.
Among the victims were several Jewish children, some Polish laymen and women
and at the end, Sister Alice. Most were in anguish. Sister Alice was calm
and at peace, and this had a calming effect on the others. When the signal
was given to climb into the trucks, the Sister Superior went quickly to the
Jewish children, took one of them with her, and bravely climbed into the
first truck with the other children. The trucks drove to a forest near
Piasnicy, a few miles away.
There, after the condemned finished digging shallow graves for themselves,
the executioners shot and buried one and all. Later on, the Gestapo returned
to the site, dug up these remains and burned them. At one gravesite, a piece
of a black rosary was found such as those belonging to the Sisters of the
From these ashes Blessed Alice will rise again, young and ardent, a light inthe forest. Sister Alice, according to her sister-companions, followed
diligently the rule of her Community day by day. Then came that
extraordinary moment when she was given the choice of betraying God and
country. With no hesitation, she made the right choice.
During his major pastoral tour of Poland in June 1999, Pope John Paul II, at
a special Mass celebrated at Warsaw on June 13, beatified Sister Alice
Kotowska as one of the first of 108 Polish martyrs of the World War II
Those who are led by the Holy Spirit have true ideas. That's why so many
ignorant people are wiser than the learned.
-St. John Vianney
From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, who was slain betweenthe alter and the temple: Yea I say to you, It shall be required of this
generation. (Luke 11:51)
THIRTY-ONE DAYS OF PRAYER FOR THE HOLY SOULS
FROM THE PURGATORIAN MANUAL
DOCTRINE OF PURGATORY
The destiny awaiting us at death is not the same for all men: "He will
render to every man according to his works." (Matt. xvi. 27.) Heaven, Hell,
and Purgatory are the three places into which the souls of the departed are
received. Heaven is the happy destination of perfectly pure and holy souls
only; Hell the final doom of the reprobate; Purgatory, temporarily for the
just, who are not as yet entirely purified. There God completes the
punishment due to their faults, which were not sufficiently atoned for on
earth; there He submits these holy souls to the last purgation, to cleanse
them from the least stain, and, by fire, to bring them to that degree of
perfected purity, which is necessary for them before being admitted to
Hence there are two classes of souls in Purgatory:
1. Those who depart this life, stained by venial sins and imperfections.
2. Those who have repented sincerely 'of their mortal sins and confessed
them, if possible, without having done sufficient penance for them. Judging
from our lives, experience teaches us that most men deserve Purgatory for
Prayer: Graciously hear, O God, the fervent prayers we offer Thee for the
suffering souls in Purgatory, who, not having satisfied Thy divine justice,
confide in Thine infinite mercy and our intercessions. Extend unto them Thy
consolations, and redeem them, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Special Intercession: Pray for the souls of those who suffer in Purgatory
for little faults.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon
them; may they rest in peace. Amen. (Three times)
Practice: Be conscientious and faithful in the performance of little duties,
and offer the inconvenience for the suffering souls.
Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!
See entire 31day prayer at:
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