Blessed Marta Wiecka

Sister Marta Wiecka was only thirty years old when she died. But in that short time she achieved great sanctity. Her whole life as a Daughter of Charity was dedicated to God, serving the sick and suffering, in a Vincentian spirit of humility, simplicity and charity.

1874, 12 January born in Nowy Wiec, Poland
1892, 12 August becomes Daughter of Charity
1893, 21 April sent on her first mission place – Lviv
1897, 15 August first vows
1904, 30 May dies in Śniatyn
2008, 24 May beatified in Lviv
30 May feast day

Marta Wiecka was born 12 January 1874 in Nowy Wiec, Poland. She was the third of 13 children in the family of a wealthy landowner Wiecki.

Since 1772 a large part of Poland was divided and occupied by several of its more powerful neighboring states. The region where the Wiecki family lived was under the control of Prussia, which tried to suppress the national and Catholic identity of Poland through a program of Kulturkampf (fight for culture). Regardless of that, the Wiecki family, like many others, was staunchly Catholic and Polish.

When Marta was two years old she became very ill. After medical intervention failed, her parents turned to Mary on behalf of their little Marta. Miraculously, she was healed. All her life Marta had a great love for the Blessed Mother and often turned to her for help.

As a child Marta cheerfully help her mother with domestic chores. Family and friends knew that Marta was an ardent admirer of Saint John Nepomucen. They often saw her standing, immersed in prayer, in front of a wayside shrine to the saint.

On 3 October 1866 Marta made her first Holy Communion. From then on, Jesus became the center of her life. Whenever she had a chance to attend Mass, she never hesitated to walk the 12 kilometers to the parish church in Skarszewy.

At the age of 18, together with her friend – Monika Gdaniec, Marta left her beloved family to begin her life as a Daughter of Charity. Because the Prussian government restricted the number of aspirants in the nearby city of Chelmno, Marta decided to approach the Daughters of Charity in Krakow, in order not to leave Monika alone. On 26 April 1892 they were accepted as postulants at the Provincial House in Krakow. Marta’s next stage of formation began a few months later on 12 August when she entered the Seminary (novitiate).

On 21 April 1893 Sr. Marta was sent on her first mission to a hospital in Lviv. Once there she quickly gained the reputation as a Sister who loved her patients and served them with great devotion. A year and a half later on 15 November 1894, she was missioned again to a hospital in Podhajce.

On 15 August 1897 she made her vows for the first time as a Daughter of Charity, sealing her commitment to serve God in the person of the poorest of the poor.

In 1899 Sr. Marta was missioned to the Daughters of Charity house in Bochnia. Around this time Sr. Marta had a vision of our Lord Jesus on the cross. He urged her to patiently endure adversity and promised that she would come to Him soon.

Not long after the vision of our Lord, the adversity which it predicted appeared. A disturbed man, recently released from the hospital where Sr. Marta ministered, began telling people that she was pregnant. Sr Marta bore this insult with serene patience relying all the while entirely on God.

After the situation in Bohnia fade away, Sr. Marta was sent to serve at the hospital in the town of Sniatyn. She had the unusual gift of helping people to be reconciled with God. No one in her department died without first receiving the sacrament of reconciliation. For Sr. Marta all of her patients were equally important, regardless of whether they were Polish, Ukrainian, Jewish, Orthodox or Catholic.

During an epidemic of typhoid fever a young man, who was a nurse and a father, was given the dangerous duty of disinfecting the room of a person ill with typhoid. Seeing this man’s fear for himself and his family, Sr. Marta volunteered to take his place. This generosity would cost her life. She came ill with typhoid and died on 30 May 1904 in Sniatyn.

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