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Sisters of the

Holy Family of Nazareth


Mother Foundress

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Frances Siedliska was born on November 12, 1842.   Because her family was of nobility, she spent her childhood amidst ease and comfort.  Frances' excellent education, including the arts, was entrusted to tutors.

From her early childhood, Frances became sensitive to the action of grace in her soul.  An ardent love and reverence for God awakened in her soul and intensified as the years passed.  She was attracted to a contemplative life.

In 1875, the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth began under the leadership of Mother Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd.   She presented to Pope Pius IX plans for the Congregation.  Mother Mary desired that her Congregation transcend national boundaries and be dedicated to the universal Church and its needs.  Her desire to spread the Kingdom of God to all corners of the earth began to realize as homes were opened in Poland, France, England and in 1885, in the United States.

The number of women entering the Congregation increased rapidly during the formative years of the community.  On November 21, 1902, at the time of her death, 29 foundations had been established in the 27 years of the young Congregation's history.

On April 23, 1989, Mother Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd was declared Blessed in an official ceremony of the Church.  Her Feast Day is November 21, the date of her death.

Sister Stella and her companions, members of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, sacrificed their lives on August 1, 1943 in Nowogrodek, Poland (now Belarus).  Prior to their death, the Sisters witnessed the arrest of many men from  their village and they asked God to accept the sacrifice the lives in order to spare the lives of the men who had families.   The Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth rejoice in their Sister's gift of life for others and hope that the attention of the world will focus on their faithful witness to God and their unconditional love for others.

The Beatification of these Sisters will take place on Sunday, March 5, 2000 in Rome, Italy.


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